KEY WriteGirl Staff
Managing Director: Katie Geyer email@example.com
Workshops Coordinator: Kirsten Giles firstname.lastname@example.org
Development Associate: Cindy Collins email@example.com
Administrative Manager: Megan Bennett firstname.lastname@example.org
Message from Keren Taylor, Executive Director
Writers often say to me, “I wish there was WriteGirl when I was a teenager!” And I share their sentiment. Having a place where you are encouraged to express your emotions and ideas is important at any time in your life, but somehow particularly vital as a teenager, and still (yes, still) especially vital for women.
Here in the world of WriteGirl, we are all about giving girls and women the space, time and permission to speak up, speak out, write it down and let their unique voices loose. Some of our girls may go on to pursue careers as writers, but all will have valuable communication skills to help them no matter what they decide to do in their lives.
WriteGirl is for girls, but it is also for women. It is exciting to see women writers develop friendships, make professional connections and help each other through involvement in WriteGirl. Personally, I am constantly surprised, challenged and inspired. As one young girl wrote to me, “WriteGirl should be everywhere, for all girls.” And I agree. Let’s make that happen!
Executive Director and Founder of WriteGirl
Keren Taylor is a poet, songwriter, performer, visual artist and the guiding force behind WriteGirl. With over fifteen years of experience in arts education, public relations, sales, marketing, event planning, freelance writing and editing, she founded WriteGirl in 2001. Carefully overseeing its expansion for over 10 years, Keren has grown WriteGirl into a thriving organization that helps hundreds of Los Angeles girls annually.
Passionate about inspiring others to cultivate their creative ideas, she has conducted hundreds of creative writing workshops for youth and adults, and led staff development workshops on literacy programming for the California School-age Consortium, California Department of Education, California Para-Educators, the Los Angeles County Office of Education, Guiding Lights Festival, LA’s BEST and the New York Partnership for After School Education, among others.
A sought-after speaker at conferences and book festivals, Keren Taylor is the recipient of numerous awards and accolades, including the Humanitas Philanthropy Prize for empowering authors, Annenberg Alchemy Champion, President’s Volunteer Call to Service Award, Business & Professional Women’s Community Woman of Achievement Award, Soroptimist International’s Woman of Distinction Award, commendations from Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and others. WriteGirl was named 2010-2011 California Nonprofit of the year by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and has twice been a finalist for the President’s National Youth, Arts and Humanities Award.
An accomplished poet, her work has appeared in many literary journals as well as So Luminous the Wildflowers – An Anthology of California Poetry from Tebot Bach Press. Keren has performed her original music nationwide with her a capella vocal group, The Trembles, and as a solo artist. Keren spent a year in Las Vegas as a featured act and has opened for Blood, Sweat & Tears, Marvin Hamlisch, Dana Carvey, Frank Sinatra Jr. and Gladys Knight. Keren’s art and mosaic pieces have been exhibited at the Barnsdall Art Center, Rock Rose Gallery, Gallery 727 and is in personal collections. She has designed the covers of all ten WriteGirl anthologies, which have won more than 33 book awards.
Keren Taylor holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from the University of British Columbia and a Piano Performance degree from the Royal Conservatory of Toronto.
Girls become young women, and then they become women. Along this journey of adolescence to adulthood, there are few organizations out there that assist girls in mentorship, communication skills and confidence — WriteGirl is one of them.
Building characters and constructing dialogue was the focus for 82 enthusiastic WriteGirl mentees and 70 dedicated mentors who attended the Character & Dialogue workshop at the Linwood Dunn Theater on Apr. 16. Professional screenwriters helped the girls craft their stories, honing their screenwriting skills before professional actors brought those words to life on stage.
To ease the transition of young people from incarceration to parole, and to prevent high rates of unemployment and recidivism, a new niche of rehabilitation programs has appeared in past decades to address Millennial rehabilitation, and to break the cycle of recidivism prevalent in low-income and high-crime communities.