Adele Griffin was the Guest Author at our April 2013 CHAPTERS Reading, and wrote the following post as a foreword for our 2013 anthology, New Worlds. Check out what Adele had to say about our community and what New Worlds means to her.
Girls Write Now! Could there be three more on-point words to describe this wonderful group? So imagine my happiness in being asked to introduce these voices by way of an anthology that celebrates fifteen years of this balance—of process, of friendship, of vision—between the young mentee and seasoned writer. In a perfect pairing, we cheer the writer just out of the gate, fueled by youthful energy and purpose, as we appreciate the empathy of that mentor, who has chosen to put out her hand in thoughtful sisterhood, with knowledge that she can help define the strength of our future.
This year’s New Worlds theme was particularly resonant for me, as a former “Army brat” who grew up all over the world, with no one particular home, and yet in place of permanent roots, a lifelong curiosity for far-flung places and diversity of cultures. Wherever we’d landed, my mother had reached out to community theater as a way to anchor herself to her own constant love of the performing arts. In doing so, she gave me my mentors, my babysitters: a rotating cast of young women who were involved in local theater productions and who shone bright lights of creativity into my life.
My own mentors defined themselves via the drama of improvisation, rehearsal, set design, costumes, and opening night. Even today, almost twenty years and twenty-odd books into my career as a novelist, I’m bound to an education in the theater. Whether in a book’s three-act structure, in the snap of dialogue, or in my desire to read my drafts out loud, as I “rehearse” all my words for a final performance before I show them to my editor.
These pages also mark a final performance, and the many rooms in the house of this anthology are a bristling intrigue. Whether in fiction or fantasy, in essays of humor or personal heartbreak, in free verse or dialogue, it is a compilation of work that calls us to pay attention. By cutting the ribbon on New Worlds: The Girls Write Now 2013 Anthology, we celebrate both the basis of the Girls Write Now community and the hard-shine polish of the written word as it has been altered, expanded, reworked, cut, and perfected on the page. With each sentence set, each word placed for maximum impact of voice, style, tone, and form, it is now your turn, as a member of the reading audience, to lose yourself to the thrill of being transported somewhere else.
Check out an interview with Adele where she talks about the importance of creativity and writing!