The Salish Sea Writers' marketing committee meeting for Secret Histories
These gifted and generous authors bring to the page courage, risk, and revelation, but also something much larger. By breaking the silence, they allow us to believe that we are not alone in our wonderments, failures, and confusions. They give us permission to share our own stories, to leave a map of true experience so that others might find their way.
- Kim Barnes
Author of In the Wilderness: Coming of Age in Unknown Country
Clockwise from back right: Kathy Opie, Meredith Bailey, Margaret Combs, Elizabeth Van Deventer, Laura Foreman, Wendy Noritake, and Amanda Mander.
The Story Behind The Salish Sea Writers Collective
Just over a year ago, a group of writers decided to write and publish an anthology. The result of that effort is: Secret Histories: Stories of Courage, Risk and Revelation. We worked in a supportive community under the mentorship of writer Brenda Peterson – herself a much published author of both memoir and fiction, including her recently published Young Adult novel, The Drowning World, and her memoir, I Want to Be Left Behind. The stories in Secret Histories were nurtured in a rigorous yet supportive circle of writers. And, because the publishing world is going through what can only be described as a tectonic shift, the Salish Sea Writers Collective, as we call ourselves, decided to self-publish as an exercise in living fully in the new millennium, complete with social media.
In a recently published NY Times article, the author discusses various books that reveal secrets. He comments that, in this day where privacy seems a thing of the past, secrets do endure, especially in families – usually through evasions and half-truths. And often the revelations come after a loved one has died. Often family secrets originate around issues of race, religion, sex and class.
As Brenda Peterson, co-editor of Secret Histories, writes in her Introduction, “It’s a real risk to tell your secrets, even more so when they’ve been long hidden and denied.”
In Secret Histories, we tell stories of secrets revealed, secrets discovered, and secrets kept.