Luljeta (R) and her mentor Lizz
Luljeta Zenka, 16, is a self-identified nerd. She loves comic books, fan fiction, and creative writing. At Girls Write Now, Luljeta found a mentor in Lizz Carroll, a digital media professional, who shares her interests.
“Lizz and I understand each other,” Luljeta said, a junior at a high school in Staten Island. “Lizz is interested in what I say. She gets my sense of humor, which is rare.”
Luljeta also found a sense of belonging in the larger community. When she joined Girls Write Now she had no idea the program would teach her favorite genre: fan fiction, stories about TV or film characters written by fans of the original work. “I started jumping out of my seat,” Luljeta said.
Girls Write Now also pushed Luljeta beyond her comfort zone to explore new genres like memoir and poetry and improve her editing skills. “One of Luljeta’s personal writing challenges is letting go when she is forced to edit a piece down,” said Lizz.
But Lizz kept encouraging Luljeta and showed her the value of editing–until she had a breakthrough moment. “One day, it just happened,” Lizz said. “Suddenly, when she had to cut some lines from a beloved piece, Luljeta began to shrug it off with a smile.”
- Be a part of their story: With your donation today, you can ensure that other girls in New York City can enjoy this supportive and nurturing relationship for years to come (also, you can read our full appeal letter).
- Get a peek inside Luljeta’s notebook from our Travel Writing Journalism workshop in the spring! We’ve got a preview in our Portfolios.
- Last spring, Luljeta’s memoir piece My Beginnings was published in the Girls Write Now Anthology New Worlds, and she performed on stage for the first time at our 15th anniversary CHAPTERS Reading Series. Check out Luljeta’s hilarious piece These Torturous Knitting Lessons that I Survived.
Girls Write Now is thrilled to extend a special invitation to A Shift In Gravity, by the award-winning play and screen writer Kathleen McGhee-Anderson. Featuring Golden Globe and Emmy Award Winner S. Epatha Merkerson (Law & Order) Screen Actors Guild Award Winner Peri Gilpin (Frasier), Daniel Mitura and Jean Brassard, this special benefit reading will take place on Monday, December 9th at 8:30 PM. All proceeds will benefit Girls Write Now!
Read more ›
This post was written by Digital Media Mentor Ella Morton, who attended our Digital Media Mentoring Program Music Memoir Dorkshop.
Mentors and mentees in the Digital Media Mentoring Program get to work on their audio.
“I was chasing something. I thought a part of me was missing, and that I’d find it if I went looking. But when I came home, I still felt that there was a scrap of me elsewhere; floating; undiscovered.”
That’s a teeny tiny snippet of something I wrote at the Digital Media Mentoring Program Audio Memoir workshop, or “dorkshop”. It was written in response to a seemingly low-key prompt: What was the first music you bought or downloaded?
At first, I didn’t have an answer. Then came a memory from when I was fourteen: a Bush CD arriving in the mail, ordered from the internet when the internet was still a novelty and online shopping was considered dangerous. I remembered, a little sheepishly, my obsession with this band. I thought of listening to their songs as I stared out bus windows wondering what the world was all about. Read more ›
Kiara (R) and her mentor Rachel
“The first time I saw Rachel, her outfit screamed of awesomeness,” reminisces Girls Write Now mentee Kiara Joseph. “From that moment I knew I wanted her to be my mentor.”
Clothing choices aren’t the only thing about Kiara and her mentor Rachel Krantz that scream of awesomeness. Although the two are only in their second year as a mentee-mentor pair, they’ve already helped each other break through. Read more ›
This post was written by Amanda Lorencz, a member of the Girls Write now College Prep Panel, and a speaker at the Girls College Bound Informational Seminar, held on November 9, 2013.
Director of Programs Laura Wynne and Mark Maas, Founder of First Foot Forward, discuss college admissions
“How important are the SATs? What are my options if I don’t have a ton of extra-curricular activities? Where are my best options of getting in to college; does it matter where I go? Why is my personal statement so important and how do I write it?”
Macaulay Honors College was abuzz with these questions and more at the Girls Write Now annual College Bound Informational Seminar on November 9th. Parents and students alike attended seminars subjects including Admissions, College Life, Choosing the Right College, and the all-important College Essay Writing 101.
The day was structured in such a way to give all the girls and their parents ample time to quiz panel experts and listen in on important tips on how to keep focused on all the components of a college application. Ages ran the gamut, with many high school seniors, but juniors and even some sophomores attended too — the message being it’s never too late to be prepared. Read more ›
Have you ever written from the point of view of a human zygote? Well, I did at the brothers/sisters genre workshop during the two weeks I spent at Kenyon College in Ohio this summer, doing what we all love to do: writing.
I also made some friends, experienced actual dorm life and had more soft serve ice cream and pink lemonade daily than you could ever imagine. And, I met some other young writers just like myself and heard some amazing work from them every day. I also did some really awful writing thanks to a lot of free writes, but I also did work that I am really proud of as well.
Read more ›
Here’s the familiar dilemma: you love the cause, but you just can’t give right now. Don’t fret! There’s a way for you support your passion without breaking the bank.
Girls Write Now is thrilled to invite you to join us online for our 2013 Holiday Appeal! It’s incredibly easy (and safe) to raise money online with FirstGiving (FG) – and you can help us reach our goal of $100,000 by December 31, 2013!
Get started now — we’re offering a special gift to the person who raises the most through their online FirstGiving page by December 31st!
2. CREATE YOUR PAGE:
Your friends want to hear from YOU, so this is your time to shine! Talk about your relationship with your mentee, or why Girls Write Now inspires you – just be you, and people will respond.
- Set your page title: e.g. Jessica’s Holiday Appeal! or Support My Mentee.
- Select an image: Pick one from the website, or try our Facebook page. Current and recent mentors can contact Laura regarding your pair photo.
- Fill in your letter: Feel free to pick and choose content from the campaign page, or write your own letter that will inspire your friends. Make it your own!
- Set a fundraising goal: Pick a target that’s a stretch, but not impossible. The typical page raises $400, so aim for something appropriate and aspirational.
- Customize your thank you message: FG’s default thank you is a bit dry, so it’s a good idea to write your own – you can edit it on the next page.
There’s lots of ways you can share your page with friends!
- Via email: Upload your contacts’ emails to FG and send it to them directly! Or, you can send an email to your contacts through your own email account. Just make sure you provide the link to your page (everyone forgets that detail!)
- Via Facebook: To share on Facebook, click the “Like” button on your live fundraising page and it will show up on your wall.
- Via other social media: Share on whatever social media you like, such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr… be creative! FG offers “widgets” to share your appeal on your blog or website – check them out!
Keep your friends updated about your progress towards your goal, and feel free to reach out to everyone again in mid-to-late December. As 12/31 approaches, people get excited and want to help you meet your goal.
At the end of the campaign, Girls Write Now officially thanks all donors, but we recommend you also send a quick email to everyone to thank them for supporting your efforts. Let them know whether you reached or exceeded your goal – they’ll be happy to hear how they helped!
Any questions? Need help? Get in touch with us. Call 212-336-9330 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
A long-time member of the Board of Directors, Nancy K. Miller is Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the Graduate Center, CUNY, and author of several books including her most recent memoir, Breathless: An American Girl in Paris.
It sometimes feels as though I’ve always been involved with Girls Write Now, but that’s not true. I can pinpoint a moment in 2006 when I first met Founder and Executive Director, Maya Nussbaum, and heard her describe the organization.
At the time, I was coediting the journal WSQ (Women’s Studies Quarterly) and we were cosponsoring an event at the Graduate Center (CUNY), where I teach. The subject of our conference was Activism — actually, activisms in the plural since there are many kinds, especially when academics are involved — and having been introduced to Maya, I invited her to present her work with Girls Write Now.
No sooner did Maya begin to articulate the goals of Girls Write Now’s mission, with her extraordinary charisma, than I became determined to help the organization in any way I could. Because space was an issue at the time, I arranged for the Saturday genre workshops to be held in the lounge area of the English Program. This meant that I literally became a hands-on activist, as I scrambled to gather enough chairs for the girls and mentors. Read more ›