Top 4 Things We Learned at Mentee Welcome Day

Top 4 Things We Learned at Mentee Welcome Day

by Heather, age 16 & Anastasia, mentor_

1. I'm a WriteGirl Veteran.

When I walked into my interview at the Mentee Welcome Day, I couldn't help but feel a mix of fear and comfort—stepping from familiar to uncharted territory. It was safe to say that I felt quite shocked and even unworthy to say that this was my fourth year at WriteGirl. The notion of setting an example for the younger batch of mentees makes my stomach drop, but maybe it won't be so intimidating. Maybe all of the encouragement from the past workshops will give me energy. Maybe all of the voices I heard during the past four seasons will push me to speak my own into another mentee's memories.


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In Her Own Words: If I Were A WriteGirl

In Her Own Words: If I Were A WriteGirl

Essay written by WriteGirl mentee Janel, 12th grade:

Three years ago, if anyone had asked me to read my poetry aloud in front of an audience, I would have laughed and politely declined. I was hardly comfortable sharing my written work with others, let alone getting up on a stage and performing the poetry I had scribbled into my journal and tucked away for safekeeping.

This all changed when I joined WriteGirl.

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Hello World! A Mentor/Mentee Interview

Hello World! A Mentor/Mentee Interview

Carly Pandza (mentor, 25) and Zoe C. (mentee, 18) have been a mentor/mentee pair with WriteGirl since February 2012.  They meet once a week and at monthly genre-specific writing workshops. They meet for about an hour and do all sorts of writing from poetry to short stories.

In honor of National Mentoring Month, they decided to interview one another about their personal experiences and opinions as writers and as a mentor/mentee pair.  This is their interview.

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In Her Own Words: Doing the Write Thing

In Her Own Words: Doing the Write Thing

Essay by Jacqueline Uy:

"Back in elementary school, there was always that one kid who, when asked what they wanted to be when they grew up, would say, 'I want to be president.' That kid was me.

But as I got older I realized that what I really wanted to become was a journalist, specifically a foreign correspondent. Even with this, I never really thought that I would ever step foot in the White House, much less meet first lady Michelle Obama. So when the opportunity to do both arose, I reacted like any normal 16-year-old in my situation: I didn’t believe it."

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“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.

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.

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.