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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Spilling the Beans with WriteGirl Interns

Spilling the Beans with WriteGirl Interns

There are many opportunities presented to us as interns at the WriteGirl office and participating in skill-building workshops is one of them. We love the workshops that we’ve had here at WriteGirl with Liz Prescott. She brings a unique perspective to the office and is happy to share her knowledge with all the interns.

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Skylight Books Public Reading for WriteGirl

Skylight Books Public Reading for WriteGirl

Skylight Bookstore, located on 1818 North Vermont, was the host for a WriteGirl public reading on Saturday, March 23rd. Many girls attended this wonderful event to hear each other recite their pieces. Girls took to the stage and spoke in front of many parents, passersby, and WriteGirl members, some of them doing a WriteGirl reading for the first time!

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WriteGirl Songwriting Workshop

Written by WriteGirl mentee: Shea M., age 14

I had attempted to write songs before last weekend’s workshop in BP Hall at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, but had never actually succeeded. I wondered what I would write about, and whether my lyrics would be any good. However, once I stepped into BP Hall I quickly found myself feeling excited and eager to learn. We got to sit down and talk with professional songwriters about things like song structure, rhythm, and how to choose a creative title. They had lots of great tips and I thought it was really cool to be able to have that kind of one-on-one experience with someone who knows so much about the music industry.

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.

“No Character Limit” Book Reading

Written by Angelica H: age 19

I enjoyed reading a poem from the book, “No Character Limit” entitled “Two Muses” written by Zoe L., age 15. Two Muses My muse was once tall and fire-haired, passion embodied, courted only with tears and supplication, and low-calorie sweeteners, watching Firefly, smelling of tea tree and overscented soap. She left in September in search of a sadder life, and a better therapist. My new muse is six-foot-one and a half, dressed in black wool, unwittingly inspiring. Ah! Two Muses, like music to your soul don’t you think? If you thought this poem was good just come to the “No Character Limit” Book Launch this Saturday to hear more soothing rhythm poems straight from the young girls who wrote them. Come and enjoy being around these powerful young minds and hear their bold voices. Hear the pain, love, and the truth they pour into their writings. Let the words flow and then you will understand you should never underestimate a girl and her pen. WriteGirl Book Launch, “No Character Limit.” Saturday January 12, 2013 at 2:30pm. Event takes place at the Downtown Central Library – Mark Taper Auditorium, 630 W. 5th Street (Between Flower and Grand), Downtown Los Angeles.

WriteGirl Welcome Day Experience

Ariel S. Age 16

I knew I was at the right place as soon as my eye caught the green, blue, and white balloons always present at WriteGirl workshops. I entered the building and the wonderful people at registration immediately welcomed me. Each mentee was given a nametag sticker, which also included a place to write your favorite genre of writing. I wrote journalism. It’s been a new passion that I recently pursued by joining my school’s newspaper, The Bamboo. Then it was off to the table piled with new journals. There were so many options. I was contemplating a simple black notebook or an orange striped journal or a pink one, and then I saw a baby blue journal adorned with what looked like dogs in watercolor. That was the one.

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I joined the other mentees who had just arrived at a table set up for us to “break in” our new journals. First I covered my journal with bling, emoticons and other stickers. Then I thought about what to write. The first entry in a journal is usually very stressful for me. I turn extremely nit-picky wanting things to be perfect. There were so many different options and so many different ways to start I wasn’t sure where to begin. Luckily there was a list of activities. I wrote an entry in my journal about what the change is like for me from an angry mood to a happy mood.

Then I wrote about a specific memory for each finger. Most of the descriptions had to do with my hardened hands due to my hours of writing without a pencil grip.

After working on my journal, I took a survey and had my picture taken. Then, I picked out a number from a tin can that would determine my fate for the day. The number correlated with one of five tables each with a different writing activity. I ended up at a table were our writing activity was to use our name as inspiration. I wrote about a childhood memory I had of writing my name:

I remember changing my handwriting constantly. It would change sizes and shapes. At one time my handwriting was getting smaller every day. My teacher joked about how my handwriting would need to be read with a magnifying glass by the time I got to college.

The next hour or so I moved on to various tables with exciting and unexpected activities. My favorite table had toys scattered all over it. It looked so festive. We were prompted to set up a scene with the toys. There were green dinosaurs, small cottages, ducks on wheels, pigs, and more! I chose a small cottage, a giant lamb, and a duck on wheels.

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We were then able to spin the wheel of genres. The wheel prompted us to write about our scene using whichever genre of writing the needle landed on. I spun and got autobiography.

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So I wrote about an awkward experience a giant lamb had with a rolling duck on wheels.

I was too big to go inside the cottage so I stood outside. After a while, a duck on wheels strolled by. I was so scared and confused! Where was I? Who were these creatures? And most importantly, why was the duck on wheels?

As the day came to an end, we carried out a WriteGirl tradition called “threads.” We gathered together in a circle and wrote our favorite thing about the day on brightly colored index cards. All in all it was an extremely fun day! I met new girls and I was inspired to write about things in ways that were unusual, new and interesting to me.

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.