As I search for interesting Spotlight topics, every once in a while I come across something I didn’t expect. Today’s column is one of those.
Simply stated, their goal is for a community of women writers to generate creativity and self-expression which in turn empowers teenage girls. They have various programs including one-on-one mentoring as well as monthly writing workshops.
Professional women writers from a wide variety of genres give workshops covering many facets of creative writing. These workshops include techniques, peeks into what it means to be a writer and discussions of hot topics. The broad program features workshops in poetry, creative non-fiction, multiple genres of fiction, journalism, editing, screenwriting and much more.
The people behind the program
The WriteGirl faculty includes 20 volunteer staff members, an advisory board of community leaders, educators and business executives, and strong strategic partnerships. WriteGirl is a project of Community Partners, a nonprofit organization.
Why was the choice writing?
Writing is an excellent means for releasing feelings often held inside and expanding interests. An added benefit to polishing the ability of putting words on paper, is that it develops oral skills. The program is invaluable in preparing the participants for college and offers insight to a myriad of professions under the writing umbrella or those in which writing skills are beneficial.
How did this program begin?
Numerous teenage girls do not have access to creative writing instruction, let alone mentoring by professionals in the field. Many of them have a keen interest in finding out more and developing their skills. In December 2001 WriteGirl was launched with the idea of bringing the talents of professional female writers to these girls. It didn’t take long. After only six months WriteGirl published an anthology of members’ work entitled Threads. The book was launched with a standing room only reading at the Knitting Factory in Hollywood.
Things progressed, and the membership doubled in the second season. The next anthology, Bold Ink, was published. The launch for that book was held at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills and was completely sold out. They were definitely doing something right!
Since then, WriteGirl anthologies have garnered thirty-three book awards and the program has also been given awards and commendations for outstanding community service.
The best part of all
Those are wonderful accomplishments, but the best award is in the form of an unprecedented 100% of their graduating senior girls entering college, many on scholarships.
Are you interested in becoming involved in this organization?
Volunteers with excellent communication skills and a desire to help support the growth and development of teenage girls, are encouraged to check out their volunteer page. I know I’m personally going to explore this further.
WriteGirl’s workshops and events are held primarily at the Miguel Contreras Learning Center, 322 S. Lucas Avenue (at 3rd Street), Los Angeles, CA 90017 (click here for a map). For general information Email: [email protected]
Spotlight appears on Tuesday in Las Vegas and Wednesday in Los Angeles featuring information and profiles for local or visiting authors, people in the publishing business, events and organizations. Read Writers’ Tricks of the Trade every Thursday afternoon in the Las Vegas edition and every Friday afternoon in the Los Angeles edition.
For more information about Morgan St. James, visit www.morganstjames-author.com, www.silversistersmysteries.com, http://writerstricksofthetrade.blogspot.com and http://morgan-stjames.blogspot.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.