Asian Women Writers Collective

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Administrative files, letters, manuscripts. Collection includes papers and correspondence from the named individuals below.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Asian Women Writers Collective was originally the Asian Women Writers Workshop. It was founded in 1984, the brainchild of Ravi Randhawa, and was the first workshop for Asian women writers in Britain. The intention was to work with any isolated Asian women who wanted to write, and to provide them with support. Members were all British based Asians, but not all had been born in the UK, and so there were different cultural influences within the group. The organisation grew from a small group of about 10 women, and by 1994 it claimed to be a focus for hundreds of Asian women writers. Some were established authors, while others had little experience of creative writing. The Collective ran weekly meetings, as well as other literary and creative events. In 1987 the Workshop became an official organisation, and changed its name to the Asian Women Writers Collective, or AWWC. When the group began most of the members were from the South Asian community, but by 1992 women from other Asian backgrounds became involved. AWWC shared their work through public readings, and also published anthologies through the Women’s Press and Virago. In 1991 AWWC lost funding from the Greater London Arts Association, and had to rely on Lambeth Council. In 1996 local government cuts badly affected the Collective, and despite efforts to keep meeting in members’ homes the AWWC finally folded in 1997.


Numbered files and folders

Conditions Governing Access

Available to researchers, by appointment. Please email:, giving at least two working days notice.

Further details about access to our collections are available on our website.

Access to archive material is subject to preservation requirements and must also conform to the restrictions of the Data Protection Act and any other appropriate legislation.

Other Finding Aids

The books that are part of the AWWC archive may be found in the Brunel University Library catalogue There is a finding aid for manuscript material on the collection webpage.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Mainly unbound sheets of paper: Letters, agendas, minutes, flyers, publicity material. One videocassette

Archivist's Note

The collection was organised and described in 2013 by Paula Gerrard, with edits and amendments by Katie Flanagan

Custodial History

This collection is part of the The South Asian Diaspora Literature and Arts Archive (SALIDAA) which was founded in 1999. The aim was to preserve sources and information about the contribution of the South Asian community to literature and arts in Britain.

Personal Names

Geographical Names