Penning Parenthood

On the 19th of November, anyone identifying as a parent in York was invited to attend readings on parenthood. The readings were by authors and artists. After this reading, parents had a chance to write on their own experiences of parenthood, or to give advice to other parents by posting it on a wall in the YSJ Creative Centre. Some of the advice and writings on parenthood given by the parents attending are pictured here. 


Penning Parenthood originated from a project that was started in June of 2022 by Professor Abi Curtis and Dr Paige Davis who ran a workshop series focusing on early parenthood and writing. Early parenthood is a key transitional time where emotions are polarised by experiences like birth trauma, breastfeeding, and lack of sleep. There are also large social and identity changes being experienced by new parents. Abi and Paige created a workshop for a group of parents with children 0-3-years to express their emotions and share their experiences around parenthood through creative writing. The parents listened to authors read their work on parenthood, and then wrote their own accounts. The group grew close, and by the final workshop everyone was sad to have it end.

Fortunately, some of the parents from the workshop attended the event and even read their work which came out of those original workshop sessions. The afternoon was really fun for everyone, even the children involved. We hope that there is a lot of interest in events like this in the future. 

This public engagement event was supported by the Institute for Social Justice. For further information contact