Once Upon A Time In Birmingham, illustration, Michelle Turton

Once upon a time… a celebration of inspirational women

By Richard McComb, head of content

The team at Liquid loves a cracking story. Who doesn’t? So when Birmingham City Council asked us to help with a special project celebrating some of the city’s inspirational women, we couldn’t wait to get started.

“Once Upon A Time In Birmingham: Women Who Dared To Dream” tells the incredible stories of 30 women who have left an indelible mark on the city. It was conceived as part of the city council’s campaign to mark the centenary of women winning the right to vote and was designed to inspire young people – and their parents – by revealing the diverse ways women have transformed lives for the better.

The book, beautifully illustrated by seven female artists with strong links to Birmingham, is aimed at the 11 to 16-year-old market but the stories are cross-generational.

The figures in the book include the world’s first female computer programmer Mary Lee Berners-Lee, women’s rights activist Jessie Eden, and girls’ education campaigner and Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai.

As well as delivering pre-launch publicity and media relations, Liquid helped unveil the book at the Birmingham Literature Festival. Our team also managed a special networking event at Foyle bookstore in Birmingham, where shoppers got to meet some of the women and hear first-hand about their ideas and work. The speakers included domestic abuse survivor and campaigner Raj Holness and mathematician Dr Sara Jabbari, whose work helps to tackle devastating bugs like MRSA.

Councillor Brigid Jones, Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “We want the book to be a beautiful keepsake to both entertain and inspire young people and we are delighted with the vibrant mix of illustrations.

“The portraits provide great insights on some familiar and unfamiliar faces who have fought for positive change in diverse areas of life.”

It was a privilege to play a small part in drawing wider attention to the tireless work of some phenomenal women.