5 Reasons Why 'A Room Of Her Own' Is The ONE Literary Nonprofit To Donate To This Holiday Season

Narrowing down the list of writing organizations to just ONE literary nonprofit to donate to this holiday season was, let’s just say, really difficult. There are, after all, so many amazing charities, nonprofits, and lit orgs to give to — they work in schools, and in prisons, and in countries all over the world; they provide books, and teachers, and safe spaces for creativity to people who might not otherwise have them; and they strive to raise the voices of under-served populations: women and children, immigrants and refugees, persons of color. I want to give to them all, all year long — but especially during the holiday season, when the spirit of giving is particularly strong.

As a woman writer myself, I know how important it is to have a community of empathetic champions standing alongside you and your work; and that’s exactly what the A Room of Her Own Foundation offers women writers and artists. From their inspirational writing retreats to the exceptionally generous grants they award women writers each year, A Room of Her Own has changed the lives of countless women creatives, who may not have had the opportunity to engage with their creativity in such a powerful way otherwise.

Here are five reasons why A Room of Her Own (AROHO) is the one literary charity to donate to this holiday season. Happy giving!

1. The Gift of Freedom Award

The name alone says it all. When the female English novelist Virginia Woolf famously wrote A Room Of One’s Own (the title is the obvious inspiration for AROHO’s name) she changed the conversation about the work of creative women. Every student of English Lit has heard the quote before: “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write…” AROHO’s Gift of Freedom Award offers women writers just that: a life-changing $50,000 grant with which to free themselves the time, space, and energy to create the book of their dreams.

2. Plus All the Other Amazing Awards

AROHO continues to be unique in its ability to offer women writers so much generous financial assistance with their creative goals. In addition to the Gift of Freedom Award it also offers a $10,000 Shakespeare’s Sister Fellowship to female playwrights, as well as book and essay prizes throughout the year. To check out the books that all of AROHO’s awards have helped fund, visit their digital bookshelf.

3. The Retreat & Waves Discussion Series

Every other year 100 women writers and artists are accepted into AROHO’s week-long retreat, which focuses on every aspect of the writing life — not just the writing itself (although that’s obviously an essential element.) Inviting mentorship, friendship, and creative collaboration among the attendees, offering opportunities to connect with literary industry experts, and creating endless opportunities for reflection, inspiration, and transformation, an AROHO retreat — like so much of what AROHO does for women writers — can be life-changing.

4. “The Q”

In the spirit of Virginia Woolf’s writing, “The Q” strives to intensify the conversation about women’s creativity — no beating around the bush here — by inviting women to respond to the question: “What question about your creative life are you most afraid to ask?” By daring to ask women this question, not just informally, but as part of a survey they’ve offered 800 women to-date, AROHO is helping to break through social, cultural, and economic gender-based barriers to women’s ability to live creative lives.

5. AROHO’s All-Around Mission.

According to its website, AROHO’s mission is to “inspire, fund, and champion works of art and literature by women” while working to “cultivate an environment of collective fellowship in which creative women bravely unearth, articulate, and contribute transformational literature and art.” Now really, who doesn’t want to get behind that?

To donate to the A Room of Her Own Foundation, visit its donation page.

Images: @aroomofherown/Twitter