Responders of Colour

Launching in 2021, Responders of Colour is a creative project that looks at items from the GWL archive from the perspective of women and non-binary people of colour. We’ll focus on exploring depictions of women of colour in our Girls’ Annuals collection, and we’ll work in creative ways – such as through poetry or illustration – to respond to these representations.

A selection of girls' annuals from the GWL Collection, on a wooden table. The annuals are from the 1950s, 60s and 70s, and have illustrations or photos of girls, some doing activities or sports. All the girls are white.
Examples of girls’ annuals from the GWL Collection


The inspiration for this project came from examining some of the items in our Girls Annuals archive, which holds activity and story books targeted at girls and young women, with our handling collection giving a window into the 1950s, 60s, 70s and more. We found some images and ideas repeated around how people of colour were represented which gave us pause. We found representations of women of colour from around the world, and yet it was clear that there was much to be unpicked or responded to in these portrayals, a world away from being written by or for the people they sought to portray. We decided to change that, and deliver a project that takes those items from our archive, and responds; using creative responses like poetry, short stories, illustrations and graphic designs to create new narratives.

Responders of Colour is the beginning of a new chapter, responding to the history held in our annuals archives, and telling new stories with women of colour’s imaginations and voices front and centre.

Get Involved

Who is this for?

Are you a woman or non-binary person of colour with an interest in creative writing or other creative methods (like drawing or singing/song-writing) and/or responding to archives or history? It’s okay if you’ve not done either of these things before, all that matters is that you’d like to try. Would you be interested in taking part in a new project, meeting others with this shared interest, responding to and creatively questioning or re-writing stories about women of colour featured in Glasgow Women’s Library’s Girls Annuals archive? If so, this project is for you!

All women-only events are inclusive of Trans and Intersex women, as well as non-binary and gender fluid people who are comfortable in a space that centres the experience of women.

When will we meet?

We will meet on the first Saturday of every month (with 2 exceptions in January and April where we meet on the second):

Saturday 9th January (please note this is the 2nd Sat)
Saturday 6th February
Saturday 6th March
Saturday 10th April (please note this is the 2nd Sat)
Saturday 1st May
Saturday 5th June

Sessions run from 10.30am – 12.30pm.

What will we do?

Each session will start with a discussion of a selection of stories featured in the annuals, followed by a creative writing activity. In each session, we will build towards crafting our own responses, with group members encouraged to pick a story from the archive and creatively run with it and make it their own.

At the end of the project we will come together and share our responses as a group, with the option of showcasing our work or discussing our findings in May as part of Glasgow Women’s Library’s Open the Door Festival. The first group work will initially run from January until June, and we ask that folk sign up with a view to seeing the project through long term, though we understand if you can’t make it to all six sessions.

Workshops will be delivered via Zoom, using a combination of discussion time, screen sharing from Glasgow Women’s Library, and writing time. Digital copies of the annuals will be made available to participants.

How do I sign up?

Want to be a responder of colour or have any questions? Email to sign up or find out more.

If you are a partner organisation and would like to take part or arrange a session, email