Media

Vancouver Sun
by: Laura Kane
Sept. 17, 2011

Intrepid Pens empower one another through literacy…

Excerpt: “All of a sudden, it’s not just me. There are other women worse off,” she said. “If I can put my little voice out there, if I can make it better for somebody else, why not do it?” Now, the 64-year-old Monks is a core member of Intrepid Pens, a writing and book club for women in the Downtown Eastside. Women meet weekly to discuss literature and share their own writing. Monks said the group offers her some solace from her “jail cell” in the Portland Hotel. Recently she wrote a poem called I am a rock, about a stone tumbling down a hill. “A rock is something solid, which I would like to be. It’s a survivor,” she said. “It rolls down the hill, getting smaller and more banged up, but it still battles on.”

WE Vancouver
by: Justin Beddall
Aug. 10, 2011

Intrepid Pens: Words that heal…

Excerpt: Society founder Amanda Grondahl is floored by the women’s willingness to share their lives with unflinching honesty. “A tremendous amount of healing and growth and friendship emerged,” she says about the reading and writing club…

Jenn Farrell (Online)
by: Jenn Farrell
Jan. 29, 2011

Intrepid Adventures

Excerpt: So yesterday was a real bright spot. I went and spent a few hours with the gals at Intrepid Pens, and emerged feeling better about my work than I had in weeks. Intrepid Pens, for those of you who don’t know, is a creative writing and reading group for women in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

She Does The City
by: Meghan Roberts
Mar. 10, 2011

Intrepid Pens: A writing club for women in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side.

Excerpt: Amanda Grondahl is a freelance writer and editor in Vancouver, and humanitarian extraordinaire. She works with women in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES) providing reading and writing support, and running a popular book club.  Her book club group has grown exponentially, and is now the subject of a local documentary. Amanda agreed to chat with us about her work, and what it means to her and the women of the DTES.

Beyond Robson
by: Skot Nelson
July 28, 2010

“Intrepid Pens Promotes Literacy in Vancouver’s DTES”

Excerpt: Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside has a reputation, and it’s not a good one. Often lost amidst conversations about “Canada’s poorest postal code” are the actual people who live there. The Downtown Eastside isn’t just a neighbourhood, or a street corner, or an area of the city that’s being gentrified by towers of glass walled apartments for the rich; it’s a community of people who are all just trying to live, like most of us. Vancouver writer Amanda Grondahl is trying to help those people on a very personal level with her Intrepid Pens reading and writing program.

Brain Candy Books
by: Erin McInnis
July 13, 2010

“Book Hero: Intrepid Pens”

Excerpt: Wow. Thank you, Amanda, for sharing the inspiring story of Intrepid Pens! Learn more about Intrepid Pens on their website, and help get the word out — blog it, tweet it, tell your book-loving friends. And if you donate a book to Intrepid Pens, leave a comment below. I’ll match the donation book-for-book for the rest of the week.

Lynne Melcombe
by: Lynne Melcombe
Jan. 13, 2011

Deliberate Practice, Excellent Writing, and Intrepid Pens”

Excerpt: But to get back to where I started, the main reason I noticed that article about Amanda Grondahl is that I’d worked with her on a volunteer project, solely via email, a while before I ever read about her work with Intrepid Pens. I could have just sent her an email when I saw her name in the news. But instead, I thought I’d acknowledge her a little more publicly for trying to level the playing field for a few writers who were born in, I dunno, September.

The Vancouver Courier
by: Jeremy Shepherd
Oct. 4, 2010

“Writing and reading group gives voice to Downtown Eastside women”

Excerpt: Virginia Woolf opined that for a woman to write fiction, she needs money and a room of her own.Once a week for almost two years, Amanda Grondahl has helped provide that room for women in the Downtown Eastside who want to learn to write. Grondahl, a freelance writer and editor who lives on the East Side, said she felt compelled to give a little more of herself.

Co-op Radio 102.7fm
by: Sandra Pronteau
May 3, 2010

Book Club on the Radio! (http://beta.coopradio.org/content/east-side-story-main-and-hastings-4)

Note: Thanks to book club member, Sandra Pronteau, we’ve reached a new level of fame: We were on the radio! Sandra has her own spot on Vancouver’s Co-op Radio Station, 102.7fm. This Monday, she devoted most of her entire hour to a discussion about the book club/writing group and why both are so important. She made a plea for sponsors to come forward and for new members to join us. Joan Morelli and Ghia Aweida, faithful writing group/book club members and wonderful women both, volunteered to be guests on the show, and bravely shared their insights and some of their work.

Chill Monkeys Apparel
by: Alexis Hinde
Sept. 1, 2010

“Idealism (Intrepid Pens)”

Excerpt: I first met Amanda Grondahl, the driving force behind Intrepid Pens, in a class we were taking together. As we got to know each other, we talked about our histories and our goals. The passion and steely determination that came into her voice every time she spoke about her Downtown Eastside Women’s book club and creative writing program really inspired me. A year after we first met, I’m honoured to help her realize her vision for Intrepid Pens in any way I can!

Brain Candy Books
by: Erin McInnis
Sept. 8, 2010

“Vote now for Intrepid Pens in the Pepsi Refresh Challenge”

Excerpt: A few months ago, Brain Candy Books profiled Intrepid Pens, an amazing reading and writing program for women in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside neighbourhood. Intrepid Pens has applied for a Pepsi Refresh Grant, and needs your support. In order to receive $25,000 to continue to grow the program, Intrepid Pens must be voted one of the top two ideas for their category, as decided by the Canadian public.

The Accomplished Coquette
by: Coquette
July 14, 2010

“Intrepid Pens”

Excerpt: I was logging on to twitter to vent my frustrations about the terrible week I’ve been having.  I instead found out about a DTES woman’s book club and got terrifically inspired instead…

Straight.com
by: Shadi Elien
July 29, 2010

“Vancouver writer Evelyn Lau to give reading for Downtown Eastside book club”

Excerpt: Celebrated Vancouver writer and poet Evelyn Lau will join a Downtown Eastside women’s book and writing club for a reading this Saturday (July 31). Lau will sit down with Intrepid Pens, which was started two years ago by Vancouver writer Amanda Grondahl. The decision to bring in Lau as a speaker was an easy one for Grondahl, who called Lau the “ultimate gift”. “She typifies what we’re talking about,” Grondahl told the Straight. “She has an experience that the women can relate to in the Downtown Eastside.

Bedside Table Books
by: Susan Matheson
Oct. 7, 2010

“The Intrepid Pens — Quiet Magic”

Excerpt: I happened upon word of a wonderful endeavour in our fair city a month or so ago and it’s been dwelling in my thoughts ever since.  Our little blog here seemed like the perfect spot to launch a conversation about it and perhaps even inspire a flurry of action. While I dallied, sorting my thoughts and words, The Vancouver Sun and the Vancouver Courier coincidentally both printed related articles this week. The focus?  The Intrepid Pens.

“In Circulation”
by: BCTLA
Nov. 25, 2009

“Chapter News from Vancouver”

Excerpt: The Vancouver Teacher-Librarians’ Association (VTLA) has undertaken to support an interesting community literacy project…A group of Vancouver teacher-librarians decided to read the same books and meet monthly to discuss the titles and, if group members wanted to, donate the books for Amanda’s group…In addition, the VTLA has garnered funding from the Vancouver Elementary School Teachers’ Association (VESTA) and expect that support will also come in the form of additional funding from the Vancouver Secondary Teachers’ Association (VSTA).

The T/L Weekly Special Report
by: Moira Ekdahl
Nov. 27, 2009

“East Meets West Book Club” (now “Intrepid Pens”)

Excerpt: A few of us came to meet Amanda, community volunteer and creator of the women’s book club that meets twice monthly at the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre. This project has a kind of magic. It began with a letter to the BCTLA from community literacy volunteer Amanda who needed help providing books for their monthly reading. It was a project that Vancouver TLs could work with better than the provincial organization; Chris nabbed it and sold the idea to me. Yes, we could probably help with books. But we also had an idea that our union brothers and sisters would also see the “magic” in this request.

The Probe
by: Josie Padro
Nov. 30, 2009

“Books in the hood”

Excerpt: I just wanted to add my support and admiration for my friend Amanda Grondahl who has started up a couple of groups for women in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side (or DTES as it’s known).  She is heading up a book club as well as a writer’s group and women in the area are eager participants.

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Comments
  1. Anon. says:

    [By email, Oct. 2010] “Our book club met on Friday and, having read the Sun, we talked about your group’s great adventures in writing and reading. We wondered if there are some practical ways that we can help your club. Can you think of a few wishes that we might be able to help with? We could donate books, some supplies or some cash. Perhaps some time one or two of us could come and listen to your writers, if they felt like sharing their writing. Can we help?”

  2. Anon. says:

    [By email, Oct. 2010] “Sorry to hear about the Sun article…If it’s any consolation, the majority of readers won’t notice what happened and will look at it as a positive story. Only those really connected with your story will notice that something seemed strange with the article. Anyway, keep up the great work and congrats on getting the press – it can be incredibly difficult to get. I would suggest you use this opportunity to do some broader fundraising. “

  3. Anon. says:

    [By email, Oct. 2010] “I was thrilled to see you and your group on the cover of the Sun. The quote about being bored did seem odd. Overall, the story made an appeal for donations for an important group in the DTES. It portrayed you as dedicated and generous with your time and money. But now the group needs funding. I think that’s what the reader comes away with. Please post the link again to the Pepsi contest so I can select your group!”

  4. Anon. says:

    [By email, Oct. 2010] “So cool Amanda – I have been following you all along this journey when you do updates – what you’re doing is absolutely fantastic and doesn’t it feel good to LOVE what you are doing!!”

  5. Anon. says:

    [By email, Oct. 2010] “I am so psyched to see how much press you guys are getting and I am keeping my fingers crossed for you for the Pepsi grant. You did a great job explaining your work and I hope it comes through!”

  6. Anon. says:

    [By email, Oct. 2010] “Hi Amanda, I read the article in the Sun today (also your critique of it). I have just finished my MSW and am looking for some volunteer work while I job search (and beyond). I also have an M.Ed in Adult Education and have taught adult literacy. My mum, now retired, was an English instructor at at UBC. She is also interested. She is an amazing teacher! I am also in a book club and I am sure we can donate books and so on as well. We are reading “Edible Woman” next month, and I saw it was on the list for your book club. I can gather up our copies and bring them down in November. Let me know how we can help out. “

  7. Anon. says:

    [By email, Oct. 2010] “Hello Amanda, Though your blog post about the Intrepid Pens article in the Vancouver Sun points out the failure of the journalist to really capture the story, it did capture my interest. I am a graduate student (and staff member) at [a local university] and I am very interested in getting involved in a group just like Intrepid Pens. My interest is personal and “academic”. I am currently studying adult education, in general the learning experience for adults dealing with marginalization issues like mental illness, and in specific I would like to focus on community groups that guide themselves and use narrative and other forms of writing as a way to learn. Imagine the fireworks that went off in my head when I learned about Intrepid Pens. I have been looking for such a group to write an upcoming paper on (hopefully it will feed into my final thesis as well)…”

  8. Anon. says:

    [By email, Oct. 2010] “Hi – I just read the wonderful article in the Sun and have sent it on to my Book club of librarians who, like me will be are so thankful for young women like you who are trying to make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate – so proud of you! Could you please send me the Pepsi website to forward to them all as they would like to vote…I also would like to keep voting – thanks and Best Wishes for lots of support after the huge reading audience you’ll get after today…”

  9. Anon. says:

    [By email, Oct. 2010] “5:30 this morning, there staring up at me the beautiful faces of the proud women of the Book Club!!!! There was also another on FB yesterday of the 3 of you . Sorry the article wasn’t as you had hoped, but those in the know , know better. You’re great, the women love the opportunity to be empowered, and to give more of themselves to each other and the community.Keep stirring those creative juices!”

  10. Anon. says:

    [By email, Oct. 2010] “Hi Amanda! Congratulations on getting some great media exposure for your incredible group of women! After I read the Vancouver Sun article yesterday morning, I immediately got on-line and voted for Intrepid Pens. And I am encouraging members of my book club to do the same. I will also be asking members of my book club to financially support Intrepid Pens. What you are doing is fantastic! The newspaper article has shone a spotlight on you and the women of Intrepid Pens. After I read the article, I came away with these thoughts: “What an amazing, passionate and compassionate woman Amanda is. She is really making a difference in people’s lives.This is just the beginning of great things to come your way…..”

  11. Anon. says:

    [By email, Oct. 2010] “Hello — As a writing teacher I was very interested in your recent article about Amanda Grondahl and was wondering if there is a process in place for making a donation to support her work. Or, perhaps you could give her my e-mail. Thanks so much.”

  12. Anon. says:

    [By email, Oct. 2010] “I read with great interest your article today about Ms Grondahl and the program she has created. Having cofounded a non profit myself , I understand all too well the up hill battles that come with trying to make a difference. I have been a member of a book club for many years and I had a thought that we might be able to help out. Why couldn’t we, through our book club and through other clubs that our friends are in, figure out a way to share the books we are reading? Maybe we could take turns as clubs donating multiple copies of books that we have read which might help save a few dollars along the way? Of course there will likely be all sorts of other things needed but it seems like such a natural connection I just had to contact you. I know also that my idea of helping may not be l what is needed at all, so I wondered if it was possible to connect with Ms. Grondahl. I would be happy for you to pass along my email if that is the best way to get us together. I have to head out of town tomorrow for a convention but did not want to leave before I contacted you. I will be checking email while away and look forward to your reply. Thank you, by the way, for taking the time to bring this wonderful story to our attention.”

  13. Colleen Carroll says:

    (Oct. 2010 – re: VanCourier Article)

    Just one more reason to be proud of the neighbourhood and the wonderful people that make this place home for me. Good on all of you gals. Hugs, Colleen C

  14. Susan Matheson says:

    (Oct. 2010 – re: Van. Sun Article)

    Lovely to see The Intrepid Pens enjoying such applause and encouragement. May you long be able to enjoy your important literary pursuits together!

    My Bedside Table Books blog (http://bedsidetablebooks.wordpress.com) has a little more cheering for you today if you’d like to visit.

    Happy Writing and Reading to you all!

  15. Nancy Sotham says:

    (Oct. 2010 – re: Van. Sun Article)

    Hi Amanda!

    Congratulations on getting some great media exposure for your incredible group of women!

    After I read the Vancouver Sun article yesterday morning, I immediately got on-line and voted for Intrepid Pens. And I am encouraging members of my book club to do the same. I will also be asking members of my book club to financially support Intrepid Pens.

    What you are doing is fantastic!

    The newspaper article has shone a spotlight on you and the women of Intrepid Pens. After I read the article, I came away with these thoughts: “What an amazing, passionate and compassionate woman Amanda is. She is really making a difference in people’s lives.”

    This is just the beginning of great things to come your way…..

  16. Ramona says:

    (Oct. 2010 – re: Van. Sun Article)

    hello.
    i read the article in the Sun and I voted for your group. Because of it. I did not know you or your group existed. I am happy to do what I can. I was inspired by the article. I did not get the impression it was all about the money. So take heart. Good things are bound to happen.

  17. Sue says:

    (Oct. 2010 – re: Van. Sun Article)

    5:30 this morning, there staring up at me the beautiful faces of the proud women of the Book Club!!!! There was also another on FB yesterday of the 3 of you . Sorry the article wasn’t as you had hoped, but those in the know , know better. You’re great, the women love the opportunity to be empowered, and to give more of themselves to each other and the community.Keep stirring those creative juices!

  18. Sandra Pronteau says:

    (Oct. 2010 – re: Van. Sun Article)

    This is a beautiful picture of us. We (Joan & I) look so adorable and huggable! WoW!!

  19. Gerda Van Dyck says:

    (Oct. 2010 – re: VanCourier Article)

    One very proud Auntie in Cleveland sends Kudos.
    So wonderful to have positive news from Canada.
    Having been a social worker for 50 years I can
    honestly attest to your progressive and creative
    solution-oriented Spirit. I love what you are doing.
    Auntie Gerda

  20. Wayne Grondahl says:

    (Oct. 2010 – re: VanCourier Article)

    thats a beautiful article. i am honoured to be included in this most glorious thing.

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