This blog post was written by Girls Write Now Communications Advisor and Editor Molly MacDermot.
Girls Write Now’s popular CHAPTERS Reading Series attracts droves of fans from our community, including families, board members, mentee and mentor alums, writers, editors, publishers, advocates, and passionate supporters who believe in championing the next generation of women writers. It’s at the CHAPTERS readings that our girls’ work goes from page to stage, and our talented young writers perform their best work, often accompanied on stage by their mentors. Each reading opens with a keynote speech from an inspiring writer who embodies the principles we instill in our girls: dedication to craft, determination to tell a story with honesty and brilliance, and a passion to live fearlessly.
This year’s impressive keynote speakers include exciting new authors who represent fresh voices that are not always represented in the classic canon on high school reading lists. We are thrilled to include Tanwi Nandini Islam, Mia Alvar, who is a Girls Write Now mentor alum, Angela Flournoy, and Naomi Jackson, who we first met at our May 2015 CHAPTERS reading with keynote speaker Roxane Gay. Here, the lineup and dates! Mark your calendar.
- Tanwi Nandini Islam, author of Bright Lines (Penguin Books/August, 2015): March 18
- Tanwi Nandini Islam is a writer, multimedia artist, and founder of Hi Wildflower Botanica, a handcrafted natural perfume and skincare line. A graduate of Vassar College and Brooklyn College’s MFA program, Tanwi lives in Brooklyn.
- Mia Alvar, author of In The Country: Stories (Knopf/June, 2015): April 15
- Mia Alvar is a former Girls Write Now mentor. She was born in Manila and grew up in Bahrain and New York City. Her work has appeared in One Story, The Missouri Review, FiveChapters, The Cincinnati Review, and elsewhere. She has received fellowships from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Yaddo, and the Djerassi Resident Artists Program. A graduate of Harvard College and the School of the Arts at Columbia University, she lives in New York City.
- Angela Flournoy, author of The Turner House (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/April 14, 2015): May 20
- Angela Flournoy is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the University of Southern California. Her fiction has appeared in the Paris Review, and she has written for the New Republic, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and other publications. She has taught writing at the University of Iowa and Trinity Washington University. She was raised by a mother from Los Angeles and a father from Detroit.
- Naomi Jackson, author of The Star Side of Bird Hill (Penguin Press/June, 2015): June 17
- Naomi Jackson was born and raised in Brooklyn by West Indian parents. She studied fiction at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was awarded the Maytag Fellowship for Excellence in Fiction to complete her first novel, The Star Side of Bird Hill. Jackson traveled to South Africa on a Fulbright scholarship, where she received an MA in creative writing from the University of Cape Town. A graduate of Williams College, Jackson has had her work appear in literary journals and magazines in the United States and abroad.
Last year’s CHAPTERS keynotes included:
- March: Tiphanie Yanique’s (Land of Love and Drowning) Q&A and keynote address
- April: Emily St. John Mandel’s (Station Eleven) Q&A and keynote address
- May: Roxane Gay’s (Bad Feminist) Q&A and keynote address
- June: Quiara Alegría Hudes’ (In the Heights, Pulitzer Prize for Water by the Spoonful) Q&A and keynote address