CHARLOTTESVILLE—A debut author will share the stage with winners of a local writing contest to celebrate women’s stories of healing during The Women’s Initiative’s Challenge into Change program at the Virginia Festival of the Book.

Challenge into Change honors stories of women transforming life challenges into opportunities for growth and renewal on Wednesday, March 20, 6-7:30 p.m., at Carver Recreation Center, 233 4th St NW, Charlottesville.

Essayist LaTanya McQueen will read from her “gripping, urgent, at times even shocking” debut collection, And It Begins Like This, which examines the legacy of slavery and its relationship to Black female identity in contemporary America.

Winners of the Challenge into Change Writing Contest will also read their essays and poetry, and contest participants will be honored.

Challenge into Change is sponsored by Home Instead Senior Care. For more information, visit or or call (434) 872-0047.

The Women’s Initiative is a Charlottesville nonprofit that provides vital mental health services to women regardless of their ability to pay. Our counseling services, social support, and education enable women to transform life challenges into positive change and growth. Visit us at Our address is 1101 East High St., Suite A, Charlottesville, VA 22902. Phone: 434-872-0047. Fax: 434-872-0049.