Valerie Allan | May 01, 2019

23 girls from Sydenham High School and Granite Ridge attended a day-long “Women Write” event at GREC on April 29.

The day started with a journaling presentation and workshop with Carol Pepper, a local artist, writer and educator, and Rosemary Pratt, a teacher at GREC. Students learned about the benefits of journaling, and different ways to journal as a means of expression. They also made journals and took them away.

This was followed by two successful women entrepreneurs and performers, Emily Fennell Taylor and Ky-Lee Hanson, two highly successful women working in the local arts communities.

Emily Fennell Taylor (also known as Miss Emily) led a session on songwriting, and shared her own experiences working in the music industry. She also offered advice to girls wanting to pursue songwriting and/or music as a hobby or profession.

Ky-Lee Hanson, is an award-winning non-fiction writer and the owner of Golden Brick Road Publishing House. Golden Brick Road Publishing House publishes work by women only. Ms. Hanson offered tips for writing successful non-fiction books and encouraged girls to pursue a variety of diverse careers in the publishing field (including graphic art, editing and distribution, for example). She also handed out and signed copies of one of her recent books, “Dear Time, Are You on My Side?”.

Emily Fennell Taylor and Ky-Lee Hanson wanted to inspire young women to pursue careers in traditionally male-dominated fields, such as music and publishing. Due to the challenges they faced, they want to show young women that achieving their dreams is possible, while giving back to the community.

Emily Fennell Taylor is from Prince Edward County, and has had a 20-year musical career, including opening for, and collaborating with, The Tragically Hip.

Ms. Hanson founded her publishing company after having difficulty finding a publisher for her own work. Golden Brick Road Publishing House’s mission is “to focus on women’s leadership and empowerment” and “develop content that effects positive social change.”

This event was part of an on-going Artist in Residence program in local schools, coordinated by Kristin Stevens and funded in part by the Limestone District School Board (currently funded by AIREE Grants from the Ministry) with additional support from Live Wire, Blue Skies, and GREC Parent Council. The purpose is to promote The Arts and Indigenous culture to students in both Elementary and Secondary schools in Limestone District School Board, and overcome gender bias in career paths.

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