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Shifts: An Anthology of Women’s Growth Through Change
(January 9, 2015 – Chicago, IL) Trina Sotira and Michelle Duster recently released Shifts: An Anthology of Women’s Growth Through Change, which they edited and published. The anthology features poems, short stories and essays by 35 women who represent diversity in age groups, geographic locations, marital status, parenting status, professions, and sexual orientations. It highlights the strength of women as their life shifts ultimately lead to increased confidence and internal peace.
The writing in the anthology addresses divorce, becoming parents, children leaving home, job situations, losing loved ones, and many other pivotal experiences that created change in the lives of women. Both Sotira and Duster, who have faced their own transformative shifts in life, found the writing of the other women to be healing and inspiring. “There’s a sense that even if we’ve never met, we, as women, are one community that has common experiences,” said Sotira.
The development of the anthology started over two years ago as an extension of the group, MuseWrite, that Sotira and Duster originally founded in 2009 with two other women. MuseWrite conducts writing and publishing seminars to help other writers develop and finalize their work. The idea to give others an opportunity to publish their work grew through helping others develop their work.
After they received hundreds of submissions and began the editing process for Shifts, Sotira and Duster, weighed their publishing options. “Between the two of us, Trina and I had four published books and over 40 years of combined experience,” Duster said. “We realized that we had enough knowledge and experience to start something on our own. We decided to establish MuseWrite Press in order to publish the Shifts anthology.”
Sotira teaches college composition and creative writing as a full-time faculty member at College of DuPage. A former television news producer, her first novel, In Her Skin, received recognition for revealing the struggles of a transgender teen. She has published articles on writing, as well as flash fiction. Duster has an extensive background in marketing and teaches writing for business courses at Columbia College Chicago. She co-authored the popular children’s history book Tate and His Historic Dream and has written articles, essays and published two books that include the original writing of her great-grandmother, Ida B. Wells – journalist, civil rights activist, and suffragist.