We had the good fortune of connecting with Marie and Janet Our Silent Voice and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Marie and Janet, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
As writers, we were interested in perfecting our craft. We met in a poetry class that was innovative and challenged us both to stretch our skills. There we discovered a common interest –how often the poems we read in class were about some kind of trauma. We spoke to people we knew and were both encouraged and chilled to find that almost every person said something like, “Oh. Yeah. I know…let me tell you about what happened when I…,” or “I’ve never told anyone.” We asked people we vaguely knew and once they knew we were listening, they told us about what happened to them. Everyone has a story – but not everyone has a voice.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
We create the opportunity to be heard and connected through writing the story that has been kept quiet. We continually accept submissions on our website, and offer workshops that give our writers the opportunity to be published.
The first collection of these stories will be available in print this summer. Our Silent Voice joins in the movement we believe will change the way the world understands that which is common, but hidden and kept silent.
One of the lessons we’ve learned is to stay true to our vision. We go back to our mission statement again and again to remind ourselves why we have to keep going.
The issue of sexual assault and harassment demands correction.
Every day we take a positive step toward expanding our reach, and turning up the volume on that demand.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Some of our first concept meetings were held at Inversion Coffee Shop on Montrose. Our editor and friend, prior to quarantine, met with us at WeWork in the Galleria area. Writing classes that are important to us took place at Grackle and Grackle as well as WriteSpace Houston. Other great groups are the Writers League of Texas and Imprint. Of course, tons of inspiration can be had at the new Kinder Building at MFAH. And for the best croissants, all writers must visit Cafe Poetes on West Gray.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Our heroes are those who have trusted us with their stories. We thank our writers and those who continue to submit their work. Their stories are for those who felt disbelieved, ignored, and overlooked. Together, we found the strength to unleash a collective voice that breaks the silence.