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Newton Speaks organizers seek stories for May symposium

Organizers for “Newton Speaks: Voices of Our City, a Storytelling Symposium,” are seeking speakers for the event’s May 10 program.

The event, cosponsored by local groups Newton at Home and Sequences, is supported by a micro-grant from Newton Community Pride. The event will be held at 2 p.m. at the Scandinavian Living Center in West Newton.

The submissions can be from anyone who lives, works, or attends school in Newton, or did so in the past, according to a statement. Stories should be 750 words or less, and about the subject “Family, Friends, and Food.” Stories will be judged on authenticity, creativity, and universal appeal.


Ten people will share their stories at the symposium, and their work will be published in a booklet along with other stories selected from the entries.

Newton residents Maureen Grannon and Robin Stein said they proposed the idea of a storytelling symposium in the spring to unite residents of the city after months of isolation due to the pandemic.

Grannon is the executive director of Newton at Home, a nonprofit that provides support for senior citizens who choose to live in their own homes as they get older.

“We are looking for stories from people of all ages, races, ethnicities, religions, genders, abilities and backgrounds to reflect the wide diversity of the city of Newton,” Grannon said in the statement. “The theme is Family, Friends and Food. During the pandemic, we have all learned the importance of the basics in our lives and we want to focus on the strength of the human spirit.”

Stein leads Sequences, a literary group at the Newton Free Library which brings together women to read, write, and converse each month.

“We are grateful to Newton Community Pride for providing support as we gather stories from all corners of the city to reflect various segments of our Newton population,” Stein said in the statement.


Double-spaced submissions should be sent by April 1 to

John Hilliard can be reached at