EchoX’s Story Gathering Workshop 2022-23

“I didn’t think journalism was a career you could actually pursue until this workshop.”

This statement was shared repeatedly throughout the program by the workshop participants in EchoX’s pilot “Story Gathering: Workshop.”

Throughout this workshop, students from diverse backgrounds had the opportunity to tell their ethnic cultural narrative and publish it on EchoX’s news feed, Voices. Students enhanced their story writing capabilities by exploring different styles and listening to each other’s stories. Going into day one of the program, many students seemed to be eager yet nervous with the opportunity to write and share their cultural stories with others.

The hybrid workshop, which originally only had 6 spots, expanded to include 13 students. While preparing their articles, the students attended one in-person meeting with other participants and met virtually three additional times with Kathryn Lam, EchoX’s Communications Director. These one-on-one sessions were an hour long and scheduled on each student’s own time.

“These work sessions were incredibly helpful when going through my article and getting valuable feedback to improve my writing,” Emily shared. “[Kathryn] was amazing.”

“She worked with me in a very positive manner and definitely enhanced my writing capability,” Lilian added.

Workshop participants met a second time in-person for the final showcase where each participant had the opportunity to present a section of their finished article. Students invited their family and friends to watch them showcase their work from this workshop.

“It truly was an amazing experience to share my cultural story and hear from other unique voices, making this a diverse and rich experience to remember,” Taya said.

Taya, one of the workshop participants, felt like her story contributed to the appreciation of her different cultures and experiences. She’d always felt like she never quite fit in with her Korean ethnicity and Russian language.

Sharing stories, both through journalism and with bigger groups, allowed for many students to not only feel heard, but also understood:

“It was an invaluable experience to sit down and really have meaningful conversations about everyone’s experience with their cultures,” Emily said.

Like Emily and Taya, Lilian had a similar experience.

“I grew up in a mixed Latin household with a plethora of factors influencing my Spanish accent, knowledge, and beliefs. The opportunity to share my story and culture with others whilst doing the same was so distinctive and exclusive to this workshop. I was lucky to be a part of it.”

This workshop also had a big impact on many of the participants’ futures and careers.

“Writing had always been just a passion of mine, but this EchoX workshop allowed me to envision writing in my future. I became more involved in my school newspaper, which in turn helped me land a summer internship at the Lynnwood Times,” Emily said.

This workshop also motivated Taya, Lilian, and others to explore different fields of writing—especially, journalism. Taya had always been immersed in creative writing while Lilian had always been interested in sharing stories; this workshop gave them the opportunity to explore these pursuits.

Every student learned something from the workshop. Regardless of how big or small, their learning experience is what ultimately made the workshop a success.

“This workshop has been incredibly enlightening for me, providing valuable insights into writing and journalism,” Emily said.

The workshop’s ability to bring together different cultures, personalities, and opinions, made it engaging and exciting.

“It was a powerful experience, feeling the unity and understanding among participants,” Lilian said. “Given the opportunity, I would wholeheartedly encourage all my friends to enroll in the program next year.”

Participants left this workshop feeling accomplished and inspired. As the program picks up again this fall for an older set of fellows, many students who took part in this pilot workshop look forward to reading future participants’ stories with a sense of anticipation and a shared understanding of what awaits them.

Our Northwest ethnic cultural communities have stories to tell and we need your support to amplify them! Donate $5 or $10 to help us continue raising the visibility of Northwest cultural community organizations and members. Follow us on social media or sign up for our mailing list to stay up to date on the latest in the Northwest.