Announcement: Exponent II Mormon Feminist Midrash Short Story Contest

Deborah under the palm tree “Deborah Under the Palm Tree” by Adriene Cruz. adriencruz.com

Exponent II is excited to announce a short story contest of Mormon feminist midrash. Midrash is a Jewish tradition of spinning out a new story based on scripture, filling in narrative gaps or retelling the scripture from a new point of view. Stories can help resolve tension or evoke questions as they ask the reader to consider possible meanings, even as the fictionalized accounts are not meant to be taken literally.

For our short story contest, we are inviting writers to tell us the missing stories of women from the scriptures. Give us the perspective of Deborah, Huldah, Dinah, Miriam, the woman at the well, Mary Magdalene, Sariah, Laman’s wife, or Emma Smith. We want to hear their voices. We want to know how they came to hear the voice of God and how they made choices in their lives. What were their childhoods like? How were they personally influenced by the great and terrible things that happened to them in the scripture stories? What did they think about in private moments? Let your imagination reveal new interpretations and meanings of scriptural stories and help us to hear the women of the scriptures.

Many of the stories we receive will be printed in our Winter 2015 issue of Exponent II and the winner of the contest will receive $150. Submissions should be between 800-3000 words and the deadline is November 2. Please send them to editor@exponentii.org. We look forward to reading your stories.

“I want midrash to give a voice to women in the Bible who have had nearly none. To be an advocate for biblical figures over whom the ages have kicked considerable dust, and to imagine their lives.”
– Rosen, Norma. Biblical Women Unbound: Counter-Tales. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1996.

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Call for submissions- Fall 2015

This is a reminder that submissions for the fall issue of Exponent II are due August 3. The summer issue will come out next month and if you still don’t have a subscription, you should get one here right now. The fall issue will not have a theme so we welcome your personal essays, poetry, and art on any subject. Please don’t be intimidated if you are a new writer; we have staff members who can work one-on-one with you to prepare your essay for publication.

We also have recurring columns featuring writing on the following topics:

Sabbath Pastorals: exceptional Sacrament Meeting talks from women
Flannel Board: ideas you’ve used in Sunday School, Primary, Young Women’s, compassionate service, or any other area of the church
Women’s Theology: essays which employ close readings of scripture, doctrine and theology
Global Zion: reflections on Mormonism from outside the United States

If you have something you would like to submit, please send it to editor@exponentii.org.
Join the conversation! We hope to hear from you soon.

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Retreat with Us: Registration opens June 7

Each year, I look forward to the “beginning of fall” signaled by fresh air of New Hampshire at the Exponent II retreat in September.  The setting is beautiful, the discussions are full of heart and soul, the keynote speaker is illuminating, and the talent show is hilarious.

Retreat with us this year! September 11 – 13, 2015
Barbara C. Harris Conference Center

Registration opens June 7, 2015 – Spread the Word

Workshops to include: improving your Relief Society experience, the Divine Feminine, serving others, ordaining women, and more!

Questions? Email retreat@exponentii.org.

 

FionaThe Exponent II Board is pleased to announce that our keynote speaker at this year’s retreat will be Fiona Givens.

Fiona Givens was born in Nairobi, educated in British convent schools, and converted to the LDS church in Frankfurt. She graduated from the University of Richmond with degrees in French and German, and received an M.A. in European History while co-raising the last of her six children.  Fiona directed the French Language programme at Patrick Henry High School, in Ashland, Virginia. Besides education, she has worked in translation services, as a lobbyist, and as communications director for a non-profit. Her writings appear in Exponent II, LDS Living and Journal of Mormon History. Fiona is a frequent speaker on podcasts and at conferences from Time out for Women to Sunstone and Women’s Retreats. A longtime collaborator in the books of her husband, Fiona and Terryl have recently co-authored two books: The God Who Weeps: How Mormonism Makes Sense of Life and The Crucible of Doubt: Reflections on the Quest for Faith.   Fiona currently resides in Virginia.

 

 

 

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Exponent II: A Journey of Discovery

Fall Winter 2015 coverExciting news! The double issue for Fall 2014 and Winter 2015 is in production and will be mailed on April 30th. You don’t want to miss this 68-page celebration of Exponent II’s 40 years in publication with writings from so many beloved Mormon feminists like Gina Colvin and Lavina Fielding Anderson (not to mention the ones listed on the cover)!

Our Letter from the Editor comes from former assistant editor and Exponent permablogger, Heather Sundahl. Heather is entering her 20th year of Exponent II involvement, and there’s no one better to introduce this issue, the last piece of our 40th anniversary celebration.

Whenever people talk about Exponent II’s origin story, the word “discover” is always used. In 1972 Susan Kohler “discovered” a stack of original Woman’s Exponents published a century earlier whose purpose was to advocate for “the Rights of the Women of Zion, and the Rights of the Women of all Nations.” And as you can read in the retrospective essays of Claudia Bushman, Laurel Ulrich and Judy Dushku, within two years of that unearthing a brave group of women in Cambridge would decide that the time was right to start anew.

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Check out our new Young Women Lesson page

Jordan First Ward Young Women

Jordan First Ward Young Women

So you’re a Young Women leader.  You’re choosing lessons from the  Come Follow Me: Learning Resources for Youth curricula to teach each month, and naturally, you would prefer the lessons that your friends at the Exponent have already helped you out with by writing ready-made lesson plans.  Our Exponent bloggers are adding new Young Women Lesson plans to our collection regularly, but how can you know which ones are ready right now?

No worries.  We have your back. Now we have a new webpage indexing all of our Young Women lessons by topic and the month in which they should be taught, alongside links to the original LDS.org materials.

Bookmark this link and share it with other Young Women leaders:
Exponent Young Women Lesson Plans

Keep up the great work mentoring our young women!  The Exponent thanks you for all you do for our Church’s future leaders.

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Announcement: Exponent II 2015 Retreat to Feature Fiona Givens

We are excited to announce that our keynote speaker for the Exponent II 2015 retreat in September is going to be Fiona Givens. Please take a look at her bio below. We plan to open registration for this year’s retreat in early June. We’ll be posting more specific dates on the website, blog and Facebook group soon.

fiona givens

Fiona Givens was born in Nairobi, educated in British convent schools, and converted to the LDS church in Frankfurt. She graduated from the University of Richmond with degrees in French and German, and received an M.A. in European History while co-raising the last of her six children.  Fiona directed the French Language programme at Patrick Henry High School, in Ashland, Virginia. Besides education, she has worked in translation services, as a lobbyist, and as communications director for a non-profit. Her writings appear in Exponent II, LDS Living and Journal of Mormon History. Fiona is a frequent speaker on podcasts and at conferences from Time out for Women to Sunstone and Women’s Retreats. A longtime collaborator in the books of her husband, Fiona and Terryl have recently co-authored two books: The God Who Weeps: How Mormonism Makes Sense of Life and The Crucible of Doubt: Reflections on the Quest for Faith.   Fiona is the grateful mother of six children and currently resides in Virginia with Terryl and Andrew’s dog, Zoe

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