Mentee Hermei Herman:
The event was called Write, Fight, Ignite, and it took place on November 19th at PowerHouse Arena. The panel included Christine Ball, Senior VP & Publisher of Dutton, Putnam, and Berkely, with authors Carrie Goldberg (Nobody’s Victim), and Brenda Jones and Krishan Trotman (Queens of the Resistance). These women authors fought to get their voices heard about issues that were important to them. They addressed topics that plague the world, especially those that affect women. They discussed their writing process, and the lessons they have learned when writing for the world to read. Sharing their struggles and obstacles, they gave advice for young writers like me. My mentor Eva and I went together, driven by curiosity. We left feeling inspired.
I don’t usually attend these types of events. Personally, they make me feel like I’m still stuck in school, listening to lectures on stuff I couldn’t care less about. But when the topics related to me on many levels, I found myself paying attention. When the women spoke of their challenges, I realized that I may have to do the same. Even though they had paved the way for those who come after them, I’d still have to fight so I could leave my mark—leave my mark in a place that may not want my mark to be left. I thought about how strong these women are because they are taking action. To write works that hold pieces of you, your life, and your feelings, and to bare it to the world, that is not an easy feat, no matter you who are—to lay your heart out for people to pick at it, for them to love it, to hate it, to understand it. And if they’re making these opportunities possible, then I should seize them, and walk the path.
Mentor Eva Greenholt:
In our society and around the world, women are often taught and told to be quiet and to keep their mouths shut, to not speak their minds and instead to sit there and look pretty. This mentality begins at any early age, damaging our psyche and our thought process.
It is not until later in life that we learn we can speak our minds, and in fact we must. When we discover that we know what we are talking about, and deserve to be heard, we realize that the words and lessons of our parents, our teachers, the neighbor down the street, were their opinion, not ours.
At this event I witnessed strong women who found their voices through writing, who faced their fears of disrupting a social norm, who took a stand to speak up for themselves and those who cannot.
This was a moving experience. It reminded me that women are more powerful than we know—that the ability to use words carefully and precisely can start a revolution, change a generation, reveal what it really means to be human, to be women.