Illustrations by Lea Monique Escano Clarin
What is the X Page Workshop?
The X Page: A Storytelling Workshop is a community arts initiative that connects women who are immigrants or refugees with artists who assist and mentor them in writing and performing their own stories.
Where does "X Page" come from?
Our workshops use exercises based on Lynda Barry’s teaching and philosophy. The X Page is a writing exercise. It's the opposite of a blank page: it’s the space where we enter into an image using all of our senses.
What happens during the workshop?
Over twelve weeks, participants develop a personal narrative and work together to bring their individual stories together into a cohesive presentation. Due to COVID-19, the 2021 workshop will be held online via Zoom. Workshop meetings will be held every Wednesday from April 14 to June 30. Each meeting will run in the evenings for no longer than 1.5 hours.
Will there be a live performance?
Normally, the workshop culminates with a performance before a live theatre audience. This year, we are considering creative options for participants to perform and share their stories safely online.
Can I read or watch stories from previous years?
If you identify as a woman ➢ are over 18 ➢ came to Canada as a refugee or immigrant...
JOIN The X Page: A Storytelling Workshop
Do you have a story to tell? The X Page Workshop pairs you with professional writers and performers to tell your story in your own voice. One evening a week, you and a small group of women will work to create a personal narrative with novelist Tasneem Jamal and director Pam Patel. Tasneem will help you shape your story into a short, written memoir. Pam will help you to perform your story onstage at the end of the workshop.
You will be paid $200 to publish and perform your story.
No writing or performing experience necessary!
Keep in Mind...
The workshop is equally a writing workshop and a performance workshop. Workshop meetings in 2021 will be held online via Zoom every Wednesday from April 14 to June 30, 2021. Each meeting will run in the evenings for no longer than 1.5 hours.
We will be hosting a virtual “Open House” to meet everyone who is interested in attending the workshop. The Open House will be held on Zoom on Wednesday, March 31, 2021.
Meet Our Team
Tasneem Jamal was born in Uganda and immigrated to Canada in 1975. After more than a decade spent working as a journalist at a number of Canadian daily newspapers, she published her debut novel Where the Air Is Sweet in 2014.
Actor Pam Patel is the artistic director of MT Space, Waterloo Region's first and only multicultural theatre company. A graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University's music program, Pam has acquired a special focus in improvisation, both music and physical theatre.
Carrie Snyder is the author of three books of fiction, including Girl Runner, which was nominated for the Roger's Trust Fiction Prize and The Juliet Stories, nominated for a Governor General's Literary Award. She teaches creative writing at the University of Waterloo.
Lamees Al Ethari
Lamees Al Ethari immigrated to Canada from Iraq in 2008. She holds a PhD in English Language and Literature from the University of Waterloo, where she has been teaching since 2015. In 2018, she published a collection of poems, titled From the Wounded Banks of the Tigris.
Melissa Durrell is an insatiably curious news junkie and political wonk. Sharpening her journalism and storytelling skills as a CTV reporter, she is now the President of Durrell Communications, where she ampliflies changemakers from tech firms to women’s human rights organizations. Melissa also served two terms as a Waterloo City Councillor in the Uptown ward where she lives.
Pamela Mulloy is the editor of The New Quarterly and the creative director of the Wild Writers Literary Festival. Her debut novel The Deserters was published by Véhicule Press in April, 2018. She has lived in Poland, England and the United States and now lives in Kitchener, Ontario.