What does a theme mean to you? For writers, a theme can be many things: a tool, driving your plot forward but keeping it anchored, or a contrivance rife with cliches and frustrations.
At Girls Write Now, themes help us structure and shape our programming and mission — curriculum, events, publications, and more. From Becoming Women and Bridging Worlds to Opening Lines, Remix, and New Worlds, themes are serious business: they’re how we embody and express ourselves each year.
Without further ado, meet the new theme for 2013-14 — and the sub-genres we’ll delve into at workshops!
In 2013-14 we’re Breaking Through. Why? Because…
- It’s what being a writer is all about: We write and re-write and wrangle our words into the shape we want; breakthroughs can feel like pure magic.
- It’s what teenagehood is all about: Breaking Through captures the moment of self-discovery and growth, for us as an organization and for our community of women writers coming of age.
- It’s intergenerational: Writers at any age and stage — mentors and mentees alike — can get stuck. By sharing our different experiences, we help each other to break through.
- It’s about breaking expectations: You can’t cage or label the girls of Girls Write Now. We’ll break through any mold or stereotype you apply.
- It’s game-changing: As we wrap up our milestone 15th year anniversary, Girls Write Now continues to innovate, paving the road for tomorrow’s writers and taking to scale our new Digital Media Mentoring Program.
At the cusp of a new year, here we stand — pens in hand — facing a brand new dawn head on. As a community of writers, we are breaking into new mediums, using music and audio platforms to enhance storytelling, and delving into genres under-explored by women or dominated by tropes that disempower women. In our exploration of performance-driven genres, we’re working to break down the barriers that keep us from sharing our stories — be them personal or socio-cultural — and to voice our transformations within our community and beyond.
So what do workshops that Break Through look like? This year, we will be guided by mentor workshop leaders and Craft Talk guest authors through this curriculum:
What classic Motown tune reminds you of your grandmother’s house? What about that hit single that always makes you think of your ex-boyfriend? We’ll be using the soundtracks of our lives to invoke memories and get writing. View on our calendar>
Swoon if you want to but your typical romance writing this is not! We’re banishing tropes and creating real conversations about real love. In this workshop, mentors and mentees will craft compelling dialogue beyond the pitfalls of cliche. View on our calendar>
Think of Shakespeare’s poetry: “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” Now imagine Shakespeare up at the mic, gesticulating with every rhyme. We’re taking poetry from the page to the stage, exploring how tone, delivery, and body movement can give a poem life beyond words. View on our calendar>
TV Sitcom Pilot Screenwriting
Grab your crazy neighbor and turn your laugh track on: we’ll be creating conflict in our very own TV sitcom pilot scripts! Sitcoms combine jokes with dramatic characters and story lines, so we’ll be crying and laughing with each new line we write. View on our calendar>
Science Writing Journalism
How do you make facts and numbers engaging? In this workshop we’ll experiment with journalistic writing about science, turning bare-bones facts into compelling narratives — including plot, characters, and conflict. View on our calendar>
Every year there’s a Wildcard Workshop — and this year, it’s Storytelling. How do you make a story compelling and meaningful? How do you make your story yours? We’ll be creating and performing our real stories and making sure our unique voices shine through. View on our calendar>
Meanwhile, in our Digital Media Mentoring program, our tech-savvy mentors and mentees will be exploring Journalism, Memoir, and Poetry, using audio, mixing and layering to bring a new dimension to their writing. We can’t wait to start Breaking Through with the class of 2013-14.
- Mentoring Program participants, we’ll be in touch as the workshops approach! Your next event is Orientation Saturday September 28 (for all mentors and mentees).
- Digital Media Mentoring Program participants, your first event is Mentor Training (for mentors only), Saturday September 21, followed by Orientation Saturday September 28 (for all mentors and mentees).
- Last year’s theme was New Worlds — explore Historical Fiction, Family Memoir, Travel Writing, and more in our 2012-13 workshop library!