Top Three Things I Learned At The WriteGirl SongWriting Workshop

Top Three Things I Learned At The WriteGirl SongWriting Workshop

By Reina E., age 17

One of the most important things I took from this workshop is that I need to write from my experience—and about the things I care about most. If I write about things that are close to my heart, I can share what I feel and think with people, and I can do this on a more personal level. And that is what I love about writing to begin with—using words to communicate what I feel, and touching others with those words. This is what is so beautiful about writing. 

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Why I’m Grateful for WriteGirl . . .

Why I’m Grateful for WriteGirl . . .

By Patrice G, age 17

WriteGirl helped me find myself. I’ve been a part of WriteGirl for five seasons. It was here that I discovered my gift for writing poetry. I didn’t know my talent until I wrote my first poem, “My Mask,” and a WriteGirl mentor told me I was very imaginative. I’ve taken the guidance and feedback and now I’m self-motivated and determined to continue writing poetry and exploring my talents. 

 

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Even the Most Open Minded Need to Loosen Up a Bit

Even the Most Open Minded Need to Loosen Up a Bit

By Alexa D, Age 15

Now, I am going to be completely honest. I wasn't at all excited to attend this past weekend’s journalism workshop, aside from being able to see my mentor again and visiting with a good friend. I’ve never had anything against journalism, just never paid much attention to it. But when I left Write Girl’s headquarters last Saturday, I left with a newfound respect and interest in journalism and all of the powerful women involved.

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Interview With a WriteGirl

Interview With a WriteGirl

WriteGirl Mentor Bree interviews her mentee Sophia, age 17.  
Sophia and Bree have been working together for a year

That’s what’s so great about those on-the-spot WriteGirl exercises. Normally you might not see the connection between a witch and a mirror. But they throw it out there, and you’ve got to work with what you’ve got. Sometimes you find that connection, and sometimes you don’t.

 

 

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WriteGirl attends Writer's Digest Novel Writing Conference

WriteGirl attends Writer's Digest Novel Writing Conference

Clara age 17, Addissyn age 15, Jacqueline age 17

In August of this year, three lucky WriteGirls had the awesome experience of attending the Writer's Digest Novel Writing Conference! Over the three days of the conference, our WriteGirls picked up some great writing tips and insight from professional writers and publishers who shared their knowledge about writing, completing and publishing novels. 

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Top 5 Things We Learned from District Attorney Jackie Lacey

Top 5 Things We Learned from District Attorney Jackie Lacey

Marian age 18, Addissyn age 17, Ana age 18

On Wednesday, August 6, WriteGirl had the privilege of hearing District Attorney Jackie Lacey speak about her experience as a lawyer and first woman district attorney of Los Angeles. We were inspired and empowered by her words. Here are 5 things we learned.

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Two Sides to Every Mirror

Two Sides to Every Mirror

Writing Experiment: They say that nothing is ever as bad as it seems. Look back on your life. Choose a seemingly negative experience and turn it around so that you find something positive about it: whether it was a lesson or an insight into something new. It doesn’t matter how small, write about how it has impacted your life.

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No Character Limit: Truth & Fiction from WriteGirl

Written by WriteGirl mentee: Sharmin S., age 14

The No Character Limit (http://writegirl.org/publications.html) book launch and reading at the Mark Taper Auditorium was quite noteworthy. Many amazing teenage girls shared their wonderful poems and short stories. Many parents even joined in to experience the wonders of a pencil put to paper.

Before the reading a wonderful author, Cecil Castellucci, taught us phenomenal ways to prove a point to readers without having them fall asleep. So instead of saying, “My nickname is Charmin Ultra Strong and that name makes me feel powerful and mighty.” I’d say, “One early morning at the mere age of ten, I fell off the stairs of a courtyard and scraped my knees. I suddenly felt a sharp burning sensation and did not want to stand up. From a distance I heard a friend shout, “Charmin Ultra Strong! You’re okay! Get up Charmin Ultra Strong.” I immediately stood up and ran back feeling strong and powerful.”

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This example shows there are many ways to tell a story. Try this, write a sentence. Now try and expand that idea into four sentences. You never really know what one sentence can create. Before you know it you might be writing a novel.

Write About Food and Family

Diana G., age 16

Pens on Fire, Creative Writing Experiments for Teens from WriteGirl, pg 14

Write about family through exploring food and family gatherings. Use the plethora of food stories from your family to write a creative nonfiction piece. -Write about a favorite recipe. -Write about your grandmother/mothers cooking. -Write what food brings to your family.

One thing that really brings my family together is food. Every time we have family gatherings there is always food. My family is from Honduras so it surprises people that we always have food from different cultures at our gatherings. We have Mexican food, Chinese food, and so many others. Most of the time my grandmother and godmother cook, while my aunt and my mom are in charge of the desserts. For Thanksgiving, everyone helps out, it is the day we have food without limits. My grandmother makes her famous turkey, I love to watch her prepare it but I am still not exactly sure how she makes it. We also have ham, which one of my uncles is in charge of bringing. My godmother helps out with sides, like rice and potato salad. My mom makes the most amazing flan I have ever tasted. Everyone in my family loves it! My aunt has fun making and decorating cupcakes for any occasion. I think my family can go on forever talking about the food we make and love. Even if we have small get togethers for a birthday or any other event there is plenty of food. To my cousins it does not matter how everything is cooked, they just love to eat it. As for me, I love being in the kitchen watching every step of how food is made because I always learn new things and someday I know I will be an amazing cook. I believe that in my family, food is very important, it helps us connect.

Write What You Feel and Feel What You Write

   Inspired by page 24 in    Intensity: The 10th Anniversary Anthology from WriteGirl

Inspired by page 24 in  Intensity: The 10th Anniversary Anthology from WriteGirl

by Diana G., age 16, and Joanna C., age 16, WriteGirl High School Interns

Think about a feeling you don’t know how to express to another person. One idea is to write them an anonymous letter. Write when you are so mad that you feel like you are going to burst. Write about a conversation that was confusing to you. Let the things you wish you could say out loud flow onto your paper. Another way to write about your feelings is to use metaphors. (A metaphor compares two unrelated things.) A person who is intrusive and annoying could be described as a pesky little rat. If someone is being sweet and making your day, think of something that makes you happy, for instance Starburst candy – compare the person to the tangy sweet taste of a cherry Starburst.

College Mania: WriteGirl’s College Workshop

Yamuna H.

On September 9th, a handful of mentees gathered in the WriteGirl office to work on their college applications. They were advised on several components of the college admissions process, including SAT prep, college selection, and essay writing. Senior mentee Laura L. has this advice to offer to those who could not attend the workshop:

College applications are just around the corner! If there is anything I learned at the latest WriteGirl workshop is this: The petty and stressful years of procrastination have to come to an end. Missing a deadline due to the procrastination monster is NOT worth it!

SO GOODBYE HORRID GREEN AND EVIL MONSTER! GOODBYE!! You will no longer leave me in desperation to complete and turn something in last minute, and when that fails, turning in late assignments for half credit. After all, there is no half credit for college applications. I ask that you all do the same and banish the monster that has been lingering over your shoulders for the last 17 years!

Allison told us that, though the official CSU application due date is November 30th, we should all turn our applications by NOVEMBER FIRST. Let me repeat that, November 1st! And our UC applications should be in by November 15th at the latest. Also, be prepared to send Allison (WriteGirl’s associate director, who guides mentees through their application process) a list of the schools you’re applying to and explain why you’re applying to each. If you’re using fee waivers for your applications, you don’t want to pick random schools. What if the one you don’t like is the one you get into? And if you don’t get waivers, why pay for school applications if you’re not really interested?

One more thing: SATs and ACTs! Be sure to be done with the test taking by the end of November. Most colleges don’t take scores past November. Here’s a few tips for taking the SAT:

  1. Go in for the essay with a variety of ideas to write about in your head. Don’t assume you’ll have to write an essay about Shakespeare, because you never know if the essay will be about a reality TV show or something else. Draw materials from all parts of your life.
  2. Take snacks and water for breaks. You will need brain food!
  3. Obvious one now: Don’t spend too much time on a question you don’t know. Skip it and come back to it later. You lose points for incorrectly answered questions, so it might be better to leave a question blank if you are unsure.
  4. Take practice tests, if you get the opportunity. The more familiar you are with the test the better you’ll do.

Going to these college workshops are always really helpful especially for calming my nerves. If you can come to the next one please do. Good luck to all you seniors! Here are some other pieces of advice from mentees and volunteers who attended:

  • Do your research and make sure all the schools you apply to offer plenty of financial aid.
  • Spend some time on a college’s website before applying.
  • Use CollegeBoard.org to start narrowing down your college choices.
  • WriteGirl can help you get through the application process if you reach out to us!

We will be having another college workshop soon — we’ll be sure to keep you updated via email.