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Girls Write Now Inc. (GWN) is the first organization in the country, and the only one on this coast, to combine mentoring and writing instruction within the context of all-girl programming. We match bright, creative teenage girls from New York City's underserved public high schools with professional women writers as their personal mentors. Through weekly one-to-one sessions, monthly genre-based workshops, a public reading series, college preparation, and countless opportunities for scholarship and publication, our mission is to provide a safe and supportive environment where girls can develop their independent voices, explore professions in writing, and learn how to make healthy choices in school, career, and life. 100% of all seniors completing the program go on to college and, in 2010, GWN girls won 27 Gold and Silver Writing Awards and 3 National Gold Keys from the Scholastic Writing Awards. The organization was recently recognized with the 2009 Coming Up Taller Award from the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities and presented by First Lady Michelle Obama which recognizes Girls Write Now as one of the top 15 youth arts and humanities organizations in the nation; featured on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams and in The New York Times; awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts; and honored by The Union Square Awards for creating educational opportunities, building community, and promoting progressive social change. www.girlswritenow.org.
The Girls Write Now program consists of three primary components: one-on-one mentoring sessions, monthly group workshops, and special events.
- One-on-one Mentoring Sessions: At the start of the GWN school year, each participant (mentee) is assigned to a professional woman writer (mentor). Each mentor/mentee pair communicates one-to-one at least once a week by telephone, e-mail and/or in person. To spur creativity and writing, activities have included free book readings, plays, films, museum visits, and informal writing/editing sessions at coffee shops.
- Group Writing Workshops: GWN organizes monthly group workshops that are led by mentors on a rotating basis. Each workshop focuses on a specific writing genre or theme not routinely found in the classroom. Capitalizing on their particular field of expertise, mentors have presented workshops on fiction, poetry, playwriting, screenwriting, memoir writing, journalism, and more. Themes span from social justice to race, gender, and religion. Throughout the workshop, mentees and mentors participate in a series of writing exercises, variously conducted in a solo, one-on-one, and small group format. There are also full group discussions and critiques.
- Special Events: We sponsor a college and career seminar, a selection of group field trips, and a spring reading series featuring original works by our mentees and mentors.