WriteGirl

Sisters are doing it for themselves! WriteGirl is a Los Angeles based program for young female writers founded by all-around creative Keren Taylor. Founded in 2001, the program features experienced and accomplished female writers giving guidance to young women in a variety of genres, including fiction, poetry, play and screen writing, and journalism. According to the program’s website, they were founded to bring creative writing and mentoring to girls who would not have access to it otherwise. They offer monthly workshops as well as one-on-one mentorship with an average of twenty volunteer mentors. The program has been awarded multiple awards; in 2010, WriteGirl was given a Medal for Service, and it was also named California Non-Profit of the year for 2010-2011 (among other honors). The organization has also produced over two dozen anthologies featuring the works of the participants and their mentors.

I seriously wish there’d been a program like WriteGirl when I was a teenager! What Ms. Taylor has done is amazing — recognizing that young women often need a creative outlet but may not have anyone to share it with. I was lucky enough to have a great group of friends I could share my creativity with, but I still wish I could have had someone older to guide me.

The action at the beginning of each of WriteGirl’s goals is as follows: “To introduce,” “To teach,” “To encourage,” “To nurture,” “To assist,” “To inspire,” “To equip,” and “To produce.” These are the tools that lead all of the girls in the program to graduate high school and to get accepted into college. Without the program, some of them would never have gotten that far. In the thirteen years since the program started, hundreds of girls have been able to tap into a part of themselves that might have otherwise gone undiscovered.

If you’d like to learn more about this awesome program, including ways to donate (they are entirely donation based), become a mentor, or participate, check out their website.

While she may have swapped her dream of winning a Tony for winning a Pulitzer, Sa’iyda Shabazz has always been a creative person. She abandoned her dreams of becoming a Broadway star when she began writing her first novel fresh out of college. She has yet to find an agent who realizes how awesome she is but in the meanwhile she has written another full length novel and never stops exploring the ideas swimming in her head. She is also an avid pop culture junkie and a random fact machine who should be on Jeopardy. Follow her social media and check out her cooking blog!

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