The Writing & Mentoring Program had a wonderful end to the 17-18 program year! We finished our spring semester by exploring genres like magical realism and period playwriting!
During our final Writing & Mentoring workshop of the semester and program year, we learned about period playwriting and incorporating slang, cultural references, and relevant setting and costumes into our writing.
Our AM craft talk speaker was Felicity Seidel, writer and performer of acclaimed one-woman show Lucky Chick. Felicity talked about the extreme amounts of research period writing involves, and in what ways she learned to make it fun. She expressed this through acting as her character in Lucky Chick transitioning through several eras – from the early ’70s to the late ’80s.
For our PM session we had Peregrine Teng-Heard and Lauren LaRocca from The Associates, an independent theater company, as guest facilitators and craft talk speakers. Peregrine and Lauren shared how their team collaborates and how they’re often inspired from characters they base off of themselves. They even read through a scene from their most recent play, Sheila, a story that explores a female friendship in the early ’80s.
“I learned that playwriting is much more than just the writing, there is expression and emotion put into every word. I think that captivated me the most about them – the way they spoke could put me in the place and time they wrote about. ”
Read more of Janiah’s thoughts about our PM session with the rest of her blog, here.
Our first genre-based workshop of the spring semester and 2018 year was magical realism fiction. In this workshop, we dove into the history of the genre and how magical elements hold symbolic importance – often as commentary on the impact of contemporary social, economic, cultural, or political issues.
Our AM craft talk speaker was Camille Perri; author of The Assistants, and previous books editor for Cosmopolitan and Esquire. During Camille’s craft talk, she shared her process of world building and how she pulls from her own experiences, along with past inspirations she’s admired.
Our PM craft talk speaker was Brooke Obie; former Girls Write now mentor and award-winning author of Book of Addis: Cradled Embers. Brooke spoke to us about how she explores her critiques of current events and cultural issues through writing fiction, and the freedom it offers.
“Somebody asked her the question: What does black liberation look like to you? She answered: There is no true liberation until the black transgender woman has access to the same privileges and opportunities as a cisgender white male. Preach, Brooke! I rarely hear the importance of intersectional feminism corroborated by others, so I was pleasantly surprised, some might say ‘shook’, by her answer. Brooke is a delightfully enlightening role model that every girl needs.”
Read more of Nneka’s views on our PM workshop with the rest of the blog, here.