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MAY CHAPTERS with Naima Coster and Meg Wolitzer at The NEW-YORK HISTORICAL SOCIETY

May 18 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Photo Credit: Nina Subin (left), Jonathan Jiménez (center)
“When I sit down to write, I’m boldly proclaiming that I like spending time with myself, that I am interested in my own mind, ideas, fantasies, and inner life. For girls and women, it’s a radical act to say, My mind is a fascinating place. This is what we do every time we sit down to create.” — Naima Coster
“Writing is a powerful act that lets the writer articulate her thoughts and feelings directly, fluently, openly, and originally; and in doing so, the writer forges a connection with that other important half of the equation: the reader. These young writers are working hard every day to describe their inner lives and take them outward; to forge that essential, beautiful connection.” — Meg Wolitzer

Tonight’s event is sold out, but more tickets may be available at the door.

Girls Write Now is thrilled that our May 18 CHAPTERS Reading will feature two keynote speakers Naima Coster, a mentor alum, and Meg Wolitzer. The reading will be held from 6-8pm at the New-York Historical Society.

The CHAPTERS Reading Series showcases today’s new voices, including Girls Write Now mentees Nazerke Akilova, Sade Andre, Maryclare Chinedo, Gia Deeton, Abby Fisher, Maria Rita Furtado, Nylah Harris, Rubit Hernandez, Waeza Jagirdar, Sarane James, Ciara Mckay, Amina Morgan, Leslie Pantaleon, Sabrina Persaud, Isis Pitt, Janiah Taylor, Lily Walker, and Shanai Williams.


Naima Coster is an author and teacher whose work has appeared in The New York Times, Lit Hub, Catapult, The Rumpus and Guernica, among others. Naima studied creative writing at Yale, Fordham University, and Columbia University, and has taught writing to students in prison, youth programs, and universities. She is the recipient of numerous awards, most recently the 2017 Cosmonauts Avenue Nonfiction Prize, judged by Roxane Gay. Her novel, Halsey Street, a story of family, loss, and renewal in a rapidly gentrifying Brooklyn, was published by Little A Books last year. Naima currently teaches at Wake Forest University and is a senior fiction editor at Kweli. She is a Girls Write Now mentor alumna.

Halsey Street (Little A) shifts between the perspectives of two captivating, troubled women, Penelope Grand and her mother, Mirella. After scrapping her failed career as an artist in Brooklyn and moving back to Brooklyn to keep an eye on her ailing father, Penelope has accepted that her future won’t be what she’d dreamed, but now, as gentrification has completely reshaped her old neighborhood, even her past is unrecognizable. Even her mother, Mirella, has abandoned the family to reclaim her roots in the Dominican Republic. As old wounds are reopened, and secrets revealed, a journey across an ocean of sacrifice and self-discovery begins. Mirella has one last chance to win back the heart of the daughter she’d lost long before leaving New York, and for Penelope, it’s time to break free of the hold of the past and start navigating her own life.

Meg Wolitzer is a novelist whose most recent book is The Female Persuasion. Her many other works include The Interestings, which was named a best book of the year by The Chicago Tribune, Time, and Entertainment Weekly, and a notable book by The New York Times Book Review and The Washington Post. Wolitzer has also published books for young readers, including the YA novel Belzhar. Her short fiction has appeared in Ploughshares and McSweeney’s, and she was the guest editor of The Best American Short Stories 2017.

The Female Persuasion (Penguin Books) is an electric, multilayered novel about ambition, power, friendship, and mentorship, and the romantic ideals we all follow deep into adulthood, not just about who we want to be with, but who we want to be.


Meg Wolitzer will be introduced by Jane Friedman, the Co-Founder of Open Road Integrated Media and former President and Chief Executive Officer of HarperCollins.

Jane Friedman, a Publishing Executive, is Founder and CEO of The Literary Studio, LLC, a consultancy for intellectual properties. From 2008 to 2017, Friedman was Co-Founder and CEO of Open Road Integrated Media, a digital publisher and multi-media content company. Open Road publishes and markets ebooks from legendary authors including William Styron, Pat Conroy, Alice Walker, James Jones, Joan Didion and Pearl S. Buck. For her work with Open Road, Friedman was named one of Fortune Magazine’s most powerful women entrepreneurs. Prior to Open Road, Friedman served as President and CEO of HarperCollinsPublishers Worldwide, one of the world’s leading publishers. Friedman came to HC from Random House where she was Executive Vice President of Random House Inc., EVP of the Knopf Publishing Group, Publisher of Vintage Books, and Founder and President of Random House Audio Publishing. Friedman has been recognized by numerous organizations and publications including Fast Company’s Fast 50, Publishers Weekly’s Person of the Year and The Wall Street Journal’s 50 Women to Watch.

If you would like to support the Girls Write Now 20th Anniversary Series at a level not reflected below, please donate here or for Host Committee or sponsorship opportunities, please contact development@girlswritenow.org. Thank you for your support!

“From the moment I was introduced to Girls Write Now, I felt a a compatibility of mission. For many, many years as a publisher I have searched for new talent and supported that talent with advice and encouragement. Girls Write Now presents fresh faces and fresh voices. What a thrill it is for me to go on the journey with these young women.” —Jane Friedman 


May 18
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York , 10024 United States
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