This blog post was written by Girls Write Now’s new Community Outreach Coordinator, Kyndal Thomas.
Girls Write Now mentees are at a unique point in their lives, in a unique moment in time—and they have a lot to say! This year, we brainstormed with mentees and alumni to begin developing the theme for the 2019 anthology and the overarching theme for the 2018–19 program year.
Current mentee reads from (R)evolution: The 2016 Girls Write Now Anthology.
Mentees add ideas to the brainstorming board.
Our mentees’ writing interests vary widely, including spoken word, screenwriting, humor writing, visual storytelling, and fashion writing, to name a few. Over pizza and guacamole, the energy in the Girls Write Now writers room was infectious.
Girls Write Now Senior Community Outreach coordinator iemi Hernandez-Kim
leads our first Theme Think Tank.
We reflected on the revolutionary power of women finding and sharing joy through humor, from The Walking Dead memes to SNL‘s Sudi Green’s speech at QWERTY in the spring. Sudi talked about how her leggings joke flopped in a male-dominated writers room. We also discussed using humor as an entry point to discuss deeper topics, such as Hannah Gadsby does in Nanette.
Mentees talked openly and honestly about issues they are facing.
Mentees opened up about their intersectional identities and the difficulty of finding relatable characters in the media. We discussed seeking representation in writers rooms and visibility for marginalized identities. Together, we reflected on the importance of finding unity amongst our differences and reading as an exercise in empathy.
Current and graduated mentees expressed the confidence and fearlessness to self-advocate they’ve learned from their mentors and from one another.
Mentee alumn Mariah Dwyer with her mentor, and now coworker, Meg Cassidy.
Our mentees recognize that they will never be as young as they are today. In the era of #MeToo and March for Our Lives, young people are active and engaged far beyond their touchscreens. Perhaps instead of lamenting what we wish we had known when we were younger, we should cherish to what we know now that we wish our future self to know. Girls Write Now mentees want their voices to ripple beyond the pages of the 2019 anthology, inspiring the world to act.