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Hannelore Hahn, Founder & Executive Director, IWWG

  • Broadcast in Culture
Melissa A Rosati

Melissa A Rosati


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My guest in the Studio is Hannelore Hahn, Founder & Executive Director, International Women's Writing Guild.

It has been said that ironing informed the writing of Tillie Olsen. Equally true is the fact that vacuuming propelled Hannelore's vision of the Guild when she founded it in 1976 as a network using writing as the means for life-long learning and personal as well as professional growth.

Having been a refugee and immigrant child, Hannelore never forgot the significance of the "open door" which allowed her and her family to slip into the United States, an experience which decades later imbued IWWG with its "no portfolio necessary" philosophy: allowing anyone, regardless of background, or education to enter and to seek the support and training to express her true self and fervent interests through writing. Now, more than three decades later, some 4,000 books have been published by Guild members and the honing of "thinking on paper," regardless of publication, has become a tool for lifelong learning to thousands of women.

Hannelore served as a translator of the "Scientific Correspondence of Albert Einstein" before the original documents were transferred from the Institute of Advanced Studies at Princeton to Israel. She is the author of the popular children's book, Take a Giant Step, and of the 25th IWWG Anniversary book, Remember the Magic. Her memoir, On the Way to Feed the Swans, won the Hannah Ahrendt Award in Germany and her essays and piquant observations have appeared in The New York Times and other publications. Additionally, she writes a column, "In My Own Words," which appears quarterly in the IWWG Network newsletter.