Can you believe we’ve wrapped up another WriteGirl season? Our 12th season to be exact, and what a year it was!
For nine months, our girls took part in a jam-packed schedule filled with creative writing workshops, led by some of the most influential female writers in the community. With the guidance of these spectacular writers, our girls put their pens to the page and wrote songs, poems, short stories, and scenes. They blogged, they polished their public speaking skills, and they wrote custom Father’s Day poems for our WriteOn! Campaign. They expressed themselves creatively, and formed special bonds with their mentors through weekly meetings.
Some of our favorite moments from the 12th season include:
- The Bold Ink Awards at The Broad Stage in Santa Monica, where we honored five accomplished women writers, including Melissa Rosenberg (Screenwriter/Producer, Twilight series, Dexter), Lisa Cholodenko (Screenwriter/Director, The Kids Are All Right), Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (Authors, Beautiful Creatures series of books) and Zoe Kazan (Playwright/Screenwriter, Ruby Sparks)
- The No Character Limit: Truth & Fiction from WriteGirl Book Launch in the Mark Taper Auditorium at the downtown branch of the Los Angeles Public Library in January. Special guest author Cecil Castellucci kicked off the day by leading a mini-workshop for the girls before they read their pieces from the book for friends and family. This book has won 14 national and international book awards, bringing the total number of awards for all WriteGirl books to 58!
- Creative writing workshops at some of the most inspiring venues in the city, including the Autry National Center (Creative Nonfiction and Memoir), the Petersen Automotive Museum (Fiction), the Los Angeles Times headquarters (Journalism), the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy (Poetry), Walt Disney Concert Hall (Songwriting) and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Linwood Dunn Theater (Character & Dialogue)
- Public readings at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books and Skylight Books
- Publication of Ready for the Next Chapter, our latest anthology from participants in WriteGirl’s In-Schools Program, serving pregnant, parenting and incarcerated teens and students attending alternative high schools throughout Los Angeles
- Our Season-End Celebration at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills on June 22nd, and sneak preview of WriteGirl’s upcoming anthology, YOU ARE HERE: The WriteGirl Journey. Highlights of the event included readings by WriteGirl teens and celebrity guests, a silent auction and announcements of college acceptances for senior girls
- Season 12 Award Highlights: WriteGirl is a Finalist in the 2013 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards; Keren Taylor was nominated for the Los Angeles Business Journal‘s Women Making a Difference Award; and Associate Director and Education Team leader, Allison Deegan, was honored by California State Senator Curren D. Price (26th Senate District) with a SHeroes Award recognizing outstanding community service
Impressive right? Our girls had a blast learning and growing with each other and their mentors. With their honest and heartfelt writing, the girls have made us laugh, cry, and at times, even reexamine our own deepest held beliefs. It is absolutely energizing and such a beautiful gift to spend time in the presence of these talented young ladies, and see all that they have accomplished in the past season. They have grown and blossomed before our very eyes, and are on a path to succeed in high school, college, and beyond.
Speaking of college, did you know that 32 of our girls graduated high school this year? And do you know how many of them are going to college? All of them. That’s right, for over a decade, WriteGirl has continued its outstanding tradition of ensuring that 100% of our girls go to college.
Needless to say, we have had a truly unbelievable season, and it was all possible because of YOU. We are so immensely grateful for your support. It is because of your generous contributions that we were once again able to bring WriteGirl into the lives of so many at-risk teen girls in Los Angeles, who would have otherwise not had this pivotal outlet in their lives.
Our girls NEED WriteGirl, and we need you. As we get ready to launch our 13th season, we hope that you will be able to continue to support our work so that we can provide another exciting season of workshops, mentoring, and college admittance guidance for our amazing teen girls.
From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you.
Keren Taylor and WriteGirl Staff
September 4th, 2013