The Fifth Annual Girls Write Now Awards includes an incredible lineup of honorees: Zadie Smith, Sophia Amoruso, Ilana Glazer, Melissa Harris–Perry and Abbi Jacobson, with Elaine Welteroth, as our emcee. Get to know our speakers and join us for the May 23 event!
“Giving young women the ability to express themselves with clarity and force is an act of great potential social and political power. Girls Write Now harnesses that power.” — Zadie Smith
Zadie Smith was born in north-west London in 1975. She is the author of the novels Swing Time, White Teeth, The Autograph Man, On Beauty and NW, as well as The Embassy of Cambodia and a collection of essays, Changing My Mind. She is also the editor of The Book of Other People. Zadie was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2002, and was listed as one of Granta’s 20 Best Young British Novelists in 2003 and again in 2013. White Teeth won multiple literary awards including the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the Whitbread First Novel Award and the Guardian First Book Award. On Beauty was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and won the Orange Prize for Fiction 2006, and NW was shortlisted for the Baileys Prize for Fiction 2013. Zadie Smith is currently a tenured professor of fiction at New York University and lives in London and New York with her husband and two children.
“The power of words has created my entire past, present, and future. How we articulate the world around us shapes reality. There is nothing more important than the next generation of women using the power of language to impact their own lives and the lives of others.” — Sophia Amoruso
Sophia Amoruso has gathered the next generation of curious creatives, entrepreneurs, and Girlbosses to spark conversation around the topics they are passionate about — from influencer marketing and brand building to getting and quitting jobs. Amoruso launched The Girlboss Foundation and released her New York Times best-seller #GIRLBOSS in 2014. With Charlize Theron, they have just released the Netflix scripted comedy series, Girlboss, written by Kay Cannon. In 2016, Amoruso released her second book, NASTY GALAXY.
“Once again we are reckoning with just how profoundly our world is affected by the stories we tell and retell. Girls Write Now ensures that young women get to be the authors and the protagonists of those stories. It is more important than ever that girls have the tools to tell their stories and the audiences who will listen. In a world that is gleefully silencing women, we must encourage them to shout, and scribble, and rhyme, and narrate, and imagine. I am honored to be in solidarity with Girls Write Now. ” — Melissa Harris-Perry
Melissa Harris-Perry is the Maya Angelou Presidential Chair at Wake Forest University. There she is the Executive Director of the Pro Humane Institute and founding director of the Anna Julia Cooper Center.Harris-Perry is Editor-at-Large at Elle.com. She hosted the television show “Melissa Harris-Perry” from 2012-2016 on weekend mornings on MSNBC. She is the author of the award-winning Barbershops, Bibles, and BET: Everyday Talk and Black Political Thought, and Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America. Harris-Perry received her B.A. degree in English from Wake Forest University and her Ph.D. degree in political science from Duke University. She also studied theology at Union Theological Seminary in New York. Harris-Perry previously served on the faculty of the University of Chicago, Princeton University, and Tulane University.
“The female point of view is so vast and diverse — it is essential that more women create stories from their personal perspective to help further reflect the world we live in. Girls Write Now provides invaluable support in this mission.” —Abbi Jacobson
Abbi Jacobson is an actor, writer and artist based in New York City. She is the Series Creator, Executive Producer and star of the critically-acclaimed show “Broad City,” premiering its fourth season this summer on Comedy Central. Upcoming, Jacobson will Executive Produce FX’s female-centric half-hour comedy pilot “Meaty” with Jessi Klein, and will star in the Netflix heroin drama “6 Balloons” alongside Dave Franco. Jacobson is a New York Times-bestselling author of her illustrated book, “Carry This Book,” and has also released two coloring books: “Color This Book: New York City” and “Color This Book: San Francisco.”
“When women have the agency to write stories, they take back the power of creating narrative – no matter what gender those narratives represent. Girls Write Now is helping to foster that power in the next generation of women writers.” –Ilana Glazer
Ilana Glazer is the Series Creator, Executive Producer and star of Comedy Central’s critically-acclaimed hit show, “Broad City,” for which she received a Critics Choice Television Award nomination for Best Actress in a Comedy Series. “Broad City” was also nominated by the Writers Guild of America for ‘Best Comedy Series.’ The series will return for its fourth season this summer.Glazer will next be seen in Sony Pictures’ comedy, “Rough Night,” directed by Lucia Aniello and starring opposite Scarlett Johansson, Zoë Kravitz, Kate McKinnon and Demi Moore. The film will release on June 16, 2017. Glazer was also recently seen in the film “The Night Before” opposite Seth Rogan and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
“There is nothing more vital than giving young women the tools to craft their own narratives. Girls Write Now is uniquely necessary–now more than ever. Its mission to empower fresh voices will help in the writing of a more equitable future.” –Elaine Welteroth
Appointed in May 2016, Elaine Welteroth oversees and manages the editorial direction of the magazine. She is largely responsible for the expansion of Teen Vogue’s coverage to include a wide range of feminist, social-justice, and political topics, alongside fashion, beauty, and entertainment news. Elaine edited September 2016’s For Girls By Girls issue, which was shot entirely by female photographers, and set the tone for the brand’s increased emphasis on diversity, female empowerment, and cross-generational conversations. Elaine joined Teen Vogue in 2012, when she became the first African-American to ever hold the post of Beauty & Health Director at a Condé Nast publication. Prior to TeenVogue, Elaine was the Senior Beauty Editor at Glamour and the Beauty and Style Editor at Ebony magazine, where she started her editorial career. Elaine is a graduate of California State University, Sacramento and resides in Brooklyn.