Creating Characters

Creating Characters

By Saenah B., Age 14

Although this is already my third character and dialogue workshop, each year brings exciting surprises and guest stars. When I first enter the lobby of the Linwood Dunn Theater, I notice a rack of eccentric attire, from chic flapper dresses to fur-lined blue capes to a traditional German dirndl. Behind each outfit is a story: the women who irons her traffic officer uniform for work the next day, the bustling German lass with her hair woven into a dirty blonde plait. This demonstrates how tirelessly the volunteers at WriteGirl work to bring something interesting to the table every workshop.

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Excavating the Secrets of Creative Non-Fiction

Excavating the Secrets of Creative Non-Fiction

On Saturday, January 25, over 100 WriteGirl mentors and mentees got an intimate view of the La Brea Tar Pits and Page Museum during the Creative Non-Fiction Flash Workshop. This two-hour workshop explored many different types of creative nonfiction writing, including personal essays, memoirs, blogging, and literary journalism.

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Teen Girls' Lyrics Come to Life in Song

Teen Girls' Lyrics Come to Life in Song

Held at the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy in Downtown Los Angeles, 160 WriteGirl women and girls learned the art of songwriting from the industry’s best women!

Special songwriter guests including Bonnie McKee (Wrecking Ball, Roar), Allee Willis (Boogie Wonderland, Friends Theme), and others shared their expertise and guided our girls to create their own songs.

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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.

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.


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.


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.


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.