WriteGirl Cafe: Serving Up Writing Advice

Drawing on the tradition of writers gathering in cafes, WriteGirl created a lively bistro setting, complete with delicious pastires donated by Porto's Bakery, for girls and their mentors to choose and refine their pieces for the upcoming 13th annual WriteGirl anthology.

To help inspire and direct them, stations were set up around the room. Forever - WG offered a girl who wasn't sure what to submit a closet - full of probing questions - draped playfully on hangers - to tease out which piece in her journal was ripe for a rewrite. At the Emo Drive Thru, she could explore the tone and mood of her piece, trying on a new attitude or strengthening the one she already had. WriteGirl Radio gave her an opportunity to smooth out the rhythm and flow by recording and listening to a playback of her piece. On The Boardwalk, a WriteGirl could consult with Madame Reviso, who gazed into her crystal ball and issued editing instructions for a brighter future.

We even had a few brand new WriteGirls at the workshop. For them - and girls uninspired by the contents of their journals - The Garden provided a cozy spot and inspirations to cultivate new work. For the girl further along in her editing, a visit to the doctor was in order. At WriteGirl M.D., she reviewed her work with an editorial consultant who gave her just the right prescription to move her writing forward.

Today I learned that even though a piece doesn't sound perfect now, it doesn't mean it lacks potential.

– a WriteGirl Mentee

The day was not entirely self-directed, however. In small groups the WriteGirls and mentors edited three abysmal poems: "Puppies," "Butterflies" and "Love." Each group reported back on what editing approach they took, the success of their efforts, and what they might try differently next time.

Now, all of us at WriteGirl are eagerly awaiting the girls' submissions.