This creative non-fiction writing workshop brings together queer and trans South Asian writers ages 18-30 years to create an archive of their experiences that will be preserved at The ArQuives and the Royal Ontario Museum.

In the workshop, participants will be asked to write about memories or experiences prompted by artifacts from their personal collections – specifically textiles and family photographs. Cloth carries a sense of intimacy, it is connected to the body and can retain the smell and feel of different moments in our lives or of loved ones long gone. In this way, it is akin to a family photograph that carries personal significance and can be attached to a range of emotions. This workshop coincides with the exhibition ” The Cloth that Changed the World: India’s Painted and Printed Cottons” currently on view at the ROM, and is inspired by The Family Camera Network project (

When: 6 Saturdays, October 31-December 12 2020, 1-4pm There is no workshop on November the 14th

Where: Online, with one socially-distanced site visit to the ROM

Free. Limited to 10 participants. Participants with full attendance will receive a $200 stipend at the end of the program to cover their costs.

The workshop will be led by Jennifer Aja Fernandes, a writer, poet, and playwright, and Community Outreach Worker at The ArQuives. Writing generated through the workshop along with the artifacts that inspired it will join the collections of The ArQuives and the ROM if writers choose. Writers may work on a single piece or multiple pieces, some of which they will have the opportunity to present in a final reading/performance. Opportunities for publication and exhibition of the stories also will be explored.

All participants who self-identify from the South Asian queer and trans community, ages 18-30 years are welcome to apply.

No writing experience is necessary. Participants are free to write in any language; however the workshop will be facilitated in English.

To apply, send a 200-word paragraph describing why you are interested in participating in the workshop and how your participation fits into your present path and future plans.

All submissions should be sent to by October 21st. Please contact Jennifer Aja Fernandes at The ArQuives with any further questions at