I loved speaking at the CHAPTERS event for Girls Write Now on Friday. It’s not often that a reading is such a celebration of the writing process.
This was a reading that acknowledged the hard work that the girls and their mentors had done to craft their pieces, and the courage it takes to step up to the mike and share those words. Those things are generally taken for granted in a reading, and it was moving to me to see these parts of the process highlighted and applauded.
I felt particularly lucky because I was able to be with the girls during their dress rehearsal, in the beautiful auditorium at Scholastic. Each of the girls went to the mike, introduced herself, and said the first line of her piece.
I am so glad I was able to witness that, because it made the actual reading so much more glorious. The difference between the girls testing their words during the dress rehearsal and reading them at the reading was so great; each girl sounded completely different, and the pieces had a totally different resonance. It felt like such a privilege to witness them showing their colors to an audience, particularly in light of the fact that many were reading for the first time.
I did end up crying as I read my prepared text, which is somewhat embarrassing, but I feel like it was a testament to the energy in the room and the timbre of the event, which was not about presenting a perfect performance.
It was about owning the fact that the work of writing, particularly during the time before you are published, or know that you are any good at it, takes great strength, and that the courage to do this important work should be supported as much as possible. It was a privilege to meet the girls and to speak to the members of such a worthy organization. Thank you, Girls Write Now!
- Join us at our upcoming CHAPTERS readings, featuring Farai Chideya, Ana Castillo, and Christina Baker Kline! It’s FREE for teens, with a suggested donation for adults. Get your tix now!