From hotel housekeepers to restaurant cooks, bar waitresses to retail workers, women in Toronto’s service industry perform essential work. But their experiences – and the inequalities they face due to the devaluation of women’s labour – often go unspoken.
We wanted to change that. Sister Writes’ The Work Issue illuminates the hidden experiences and contributions of women working in Toronto’s service industry. With 22 stories by women in across industries, this issue is our biggest and boldest yet, and is now on sale in bookstores across Canada. In the coming months, we’ll also be posting stories on the site.
The Work Issue was two years in the making. The project began in 2017, when we mounted free creative writing workshops at the Bloor-Gladstone library and made work our thematic focus. Women learned writing techniques from professional writers, wrote narratives about work, shared and collaborated with peers, and went through a professional editorial process to polish their stories for publication. The final stage was designing and publishing the issue, which we launched at a packed event on November 19, 2019 at Burdock in downtown Toronto.
We’re proud of this issue. To our knowledge, it’s the first full-length volume of true stories by women in Toronto’s service industries. Over half of the writers born in other cities or countries. For many, this is this is their first professional publication. Ready to read stories from The Work Issue? Visit our magazines page.