Authors including Elizabeth Day, June Sarpong and Dolly Alderton are among those supporting a new T-shirt initiative to spotlight iconic female writers, launched by the Women's Prize Trust.
Created in partnership with author and poet Scarlett Curtis and Girls on Tops — a company that celebrates women in film through its T-shirts — a collection of five tops have been issued. The plain white T-shirts feature the names of authors Maya Angelou, Nora Ephron, Daphne du Maurier, Toni Morrison and Virginia Woolf, who were selected by a public vote on social media.
All profits from the collection will go towards the Women’s Prize Trust, and can be purchased through the organisation's online shop. A T-shirt featuring the trust's slogan "Reading Women" can also be purchased.
Curtis, who is a Women's Prize trustee and who spearheaded the project, said: “I am the biggest fan of Girls on Tops and have truly never been more excited for a T-shirt in my life! In a world where female authors are still too often left out of school syllabi, history books and reading lists, there is no better statement than placing your favourite female author across your chest. Girls on Tops’ commitment to elevating the voices of female filmmakers unites so perfectly with the mission of the Women’s Prize and I can’t wait to see what incredible things we might be able to do together to support female artists in the future.”
Commenting on her choice, actress, playwright and director Zawe Ashton said: "The honesty with which Toni Morrison speaks about Black beauty and identity, alters you forever.”
Anderson, selected Maya Angelou because she was "brazen, wise, brilliant, eloquent and with an ever prevailing strength". The actress explained: "These are all words which describe the extraordinary author, artist and activist Dr Maya Angelou. A magnificent force who inspired many through her truthful and courageous words. May her ability to rise above be motivation for us all. I'm honoured to wear this Girls on Tops T-shirt to benefit the Women’s Prize for Fiction and to celebrate female voices.”
Gillian Anderson, Dolly Alderton, and Vick Hope.
BBC Radio 1 presenter, Vick Hope, also sang the praises of Angelou, saying: “Maya Angelou’s words are so powerfully evocative of pain and hope, of darkness and light; every page of her work is full of spirit and beauty. The wisest and most lyrically dexterous of writers, she has accompanied me through life, love, grief and growth, she has provided solace at my lowest, and given me the strength to find and respect myself when I needed it most. An inspiration to many, I don’t think I know anyone unaffected by her pen.”
Louisa Maycock, Girls on Tops founder and director, said: “This collection of T-shirts, made with the Women’s Prize Trust, is the result of a dream collaboration and marks a new direction for Girls on Tops. We’ve spent almost five years championing women in film and helping to foster new women writers via the Girls on Tops editorial platform. Now, we get to bring together our passion for elevating female artists and our unending love for writing. We can’t wait to release these T-shirts into the world, celebrate and then afterwards, as Nora Ephron would want, eat a big bowl of carbonara in bed.”
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