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Who are the Women You Celebrate and Thank on International Women’s Day?

Today, March 8th, is International Women’s Day, a day to reflect and admire the women who came before us and how they helped shape the world around them. To celebrate just a handful of the great women who have influenced and inspired me, I thought I’d put together this post in their honor. If you’d like to learn more about this day, please visit the official website.

E. L. Konigsburg:  The most memorable book of my elementary years was From the Mixed

From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil L Frankweiler
From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil L Frankweiler

up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.  I loved the scene of the children washing themselves and gathering coins in the fountain in the restaurant–and I remembered eating in that restaurant and enjoying the sculptural fountains when we’d gone to the Metropolitan Museum–so the book had special memories within memories for me.

Judy Blume:  In sixth grade my friends and I literally grew up with Judy Blume.

Mrs. Schmiemann: No, I don’t even remember her first name, because she was always “Mrs.”  to me. This is my sixth grade teacher who urged my parents to support my writing gifts. She had high standards and, as a result, we all worked hard in her class.

Emily Dickenson: Was the first poet I read religiously. I made a poster filled with her

Poet, Emily Dickenson
Poet, Emily Dickenson

poems and put it on my bedroom wall. I can still picture the images in my mind conjured on my first reading of “I like to see it lap the miles and lick the valleys up…” I dreamed I’d grow up to be a poet or writer and I wrote poetry in my journal throughout high school.Gjertrud Schnackenberg: Was the most supportive of my writing teachers at MIT. Her assignments were fun and stretched me and she made me feel good about my writing–everyone needs a teacher like her.

Irene Taylor: Taught two classes at MIT on William Blake and opened a whole new world for me as we compared the text to the engravings in “Songs of Innocence/Songs of Experience” and “America” and shared insights in class.

I could go on, but I’d rather hear from you–who are the women you celebrate today on International Women’s Day?

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Lisa Tener

Lisa Tener is an award-winning book writing coach who assists writers in all aspects of the writing process—from writing a book proposal and getting published to finding one’s creative voice. Her clients have appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CBS Early Show, The Montel Williams Show, CNN, Fox News, New Morning and much more. They blog on sites like The Huffington Post, Psychology Today and WebMD.

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Comments

    • Lisa Tener says

      Oh, Ellen, I am blushing! That would certainly be amazing to inspire people like that. You’re the best.

  1. Rachel says

    Jane Austen, JK Rowling, my 4th garde teacher Mrs Kirby, and my college mentor, Professor Yates. They were the most influential in my writing life most specifically.

  2. Geri says

    My favorite was/is Maeve Binchey. I really got lost in her stories and felt right “at home” in her settings. And if we are talking about women who have influenced our writing, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the Sisters of the Holy Child at St. Leonard’s Academy in Philadelphia. From how to fill a fountain pen (I’m old,) to outlines, to sentence diagrams . . . that’s where it all began.

    • Lisa Tener says

      Geri, It hink Maeve Binchey is one of my Mom’s favorites. And, Rachel, I love Jane Austin and who can’t love the Harry Potter books?

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