High School Girls And Writing: Why WriteGirl Matters
A few years ago, I was asked to speak in a workshop in the Bay Area for an organization called WriteGirl. I’d never heard of the organization and had no idea what they did, but when the young woman talked to me on the phone, she was so sincere and enthusiastic. I was intrigued. So I agreed to go.
When I arrived, I thought that it seemed like a pretty small and young organization. The workshop was held in a pint-sized conference room in a small hotel. At first glance, it seemed like a micro-mini-convention for local high school girls interested in writing. There may have been 15 to 20 kids there, tops.
Honestly, I had my doubts as to whether this little organization would make it, but I was happy to be there and to dive in and get to know them. Those girls energized me. In no time I forgot how small the conference room was and how few girls were there. There was a vibe in that drab little room that was electric. These girls were excited about the possibilities of their future!
When it was all over, I went back to work on Brave, head down, plowing through constant time crunches over the next few years.
I lost track of WriteGirl—much to my disappointment—but I never forgot them. I would often think about the excitement and enthusiasm in that room, but I was too busy with my own career to think about mentoring. (Shame on me!)
When I became more free to pull my head out of the turbulent waters and look around, I decided to try and make amends and circle back again to WriteGirl. As a first step, I checked out their website. This is how they describe themselves:
“WriteGirl is a nonprofit organization for high school girls centered on the craft of creative writing and empowerment through self-expression. Through one-on-one mentoring and monthly workshops, girls are given techniques, insights and hot tips for great writing in all genres from professional women writers.”
Well, I am very happy to say that WriteGirl is flourishing without any help from me! They are getting girls into college on full or partial scholarships based on the work they do through WriteGirl! Even better, WriteGirl was recognized by the State of California, who named them Nonprofit of the Year! WriteGirl is doing all the right things for our creative young women!
I know there are tons of amazing women writers out there and if this is the kind of thing you’re passionate about – helping young girls discover creative writing and learn and grow – WriteGirl is an organization you should definitely check out. I know for a fact that mentors make a huge difference in the lives of young people and I’m a believer that women helping other women is particularly important.
WriteGirl is based in LA, but there’s nothing that says it couldn’t expand to other markets. Hollywood doesn’t have to corner the market on writers! Girls are everywhere, aren’t they? How about Springfield, Illinois or Springfield, Massachusetts, or Juneau, Alaska, for that matter? Hmmm… if you want to know more, or explore how you can be a part of WriteGirl, either as a mentor or if you’re a young woman interested in creative writing, check out WriteGirl.
Workshop image via the WriteGirl blog