“At that moment, I realized what Girls Write Now was all about. Here’s this brilliant sports writer for the Associated Press, and she’s totally immersed in my poem.” – Lashanda Anakwah, mentee
The pure spirit of our organization is simple: every girl who’s passionate about writing gets a shot at exploring it. We introduce young women writers to professional women writers from every discipline, who join Girls Write Now as mentors to pass on the specifics of their craft. As mentees work with their mentors, the rigor and flexibility of our structure turns a one-to-one relationship into a two-way street.
Mentees and mentors become crit partners, collaborators, and lifelong friends. A typical pair session can involve building on a work in progress, fine-tuning application essays for a college-bound senior, editing each other’s poems, or taking a field trip to places designed to inspire, like museums, movies, or a new neighborhood. Mentors and mentees attend workshops and prepare for readings together, taking their work from rough draft to a complete piece to be performed or published in our annual anthology.
We accept new mentor and mentee applications each spring. Once our pairs are matched in October (through a thoughtful process that takes into account geography, writing interests, and compatibility), they meet each week. Throughout the course of the program year, mentees create multi-genre developmental portfolios—records of their drafts from pair sessions and workshops. Together, they receive support and training from experienced mentors, therapists, and guest authors, who form our extended community of writers.