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RELAT (Red de Escritoras Latinoamericanas)

RELAT (Red de Escritoras Latinoamericanas) is two things: a regional network of Latin American women writers, headquartered in Lima, Peru, and a Peruvian women writers' organization with local programs.


Av. 7 de Junio 145, Of. 102, Miraflores
Lima 18, Perú
Telefax +51-1-446-0675

International Director
Mariella Sala

President of Peruvian Board of Directors
Carmen Ollé

International Steering Committee
Mariella Sala (Peru)
Angélica Gorodischer (Argentina)
Joyce Cavalccante (Brazil)
Eliane Ortega (Chile)
Virginia Ayllón (Bolivia)

Peruvian Board of Directors
Aïda Balta
Pilar Dughi
Carmen Ollé
Mariella Sala

Mission Statement

RELAT will help women writers in Latin America develop a stronger public voice by building a network to link them across borders, and by fighting various forms of censorship and self-censorship that are linked to gender.

Activities of the Latin American Network

As a regional body. RELAT is primarily a network of women writers' groups, including RELAT in Peru, SUDESTADA and RELATAR in Argentina, REBRA in Brazil, and groups forming in Bolivia, Chile and Puerto Rico. It also has individual members in other countries. At its meeting in February, 2000, the steering committee developed a regional program including:

  • The RELAT website, which connects members and provides information about their literary work
  • Development of a data base of Latin American women writers, currently consisting of 72 Peruvian writers and 186 from other parts of Latin America
  • A contest for the best first novel by a Latin American women writer; the prize of which is publication and distribution throughout Latin America
  • Collaboration with RELATAR on two international conferences of women writers held in Rosario, Argentina, in 1998 and 2000. A third, scheduled for 2002, has been put postponed until 2003 due to the economic crisis.
  • Collaboration on a book of critical essays Escritoras de Nuestra America (Women Writers of Our America)) with Isis International in Chile; this has been published in Spanish and Isis is seeking a publisher in English.

The winner of the contest for the best first novel by a Latin American woman was recently announced. It is Casa de Muchachas by Jaleh Alicia Ruhe, a thirty-one-year- old writer from Honduras, living in Costa Rica, who has studied in Costa Rica, Peru, Chile, and the US. The novel focusses on the situation of Latin American youth in a time of crisis and discouragement, and "the absurdities of living without a homeland." The contest was publicized on the Internet and a large number of excellent novels were submitted, from twelve different countries. The winner was chosen by a panel consisting of Marta Aponte (Puerto Rico), Vicky Ayllón (Bolivia), Angélica Gorodischer (Argentina), Carmen Ollé (Peru), and Mariella Sala (Peru). It is going to be published by Cuarto Propio in Chile.

Activities of the Peruvian Women Writers Organization

RELAT's Peruvian programs have consisted of a national conference of Peruvian women writers in 1999, with forty participants, including urban writers, academics, and writers from the countryside; two writing workshops for low income women; and assistance to members with book distribution. RELAT has received core program support from Hivos (Humanist Institute for Development Co-operation), and support for its writing workshops from Mamacash.