What is #OwnYourOwn?

The #OwnYourOwn hashtag has taken off this week. It’s a space on Twitter to encourage and inspire marginalized writers. It’s a call to #OwnYourOwn voice, #OwnYourOwn dreams, #OwnYourOwn story.

This community is rallying around the #ownvoices hashtag as well, which encourages the telling of stories from diverse groups and members of that group.

The hashtag was started by Kaye M., a Muslim American college student who is very involved in the writing and literary world.

Here’s a selection from her #OwnYourOwn announcement post:

I used to judge my own people, my own perspective, and find it wanting. Muslim girls couldn’t have adventures. Muslim girls didn’t have adventures worth writing about. Muslim girls just weren’t worthy of the gilded spines I used to trail my hand over in the local library. We just weren’t.

It makes it seem as though we are the problem. I’ve been asked recently how to stop feeling like we are the problem. We aren’t, dear readers. We are not, we are not, we are not. The push for #ownvoices in literature – the subtle acknowledgement that we make our stories, we make them the thirst-quenching, beautifully mouth watering works of art that they are – proves that.

We are not the problem. We are our own. And we need to be able to own our own, without accepting the manufactured shame from those who would rather us continue to uncomfortably digest co-opted narratives and unhappy stereotypes. Your #ownvoices matter, all of you.

Join the discussions happening on Twitter, blogs, and other areas of the web. The writing community on Twitter is a great space to meet other writers, make friends, find agents, have deep conversations, and more.

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