Aisha + Kate
Aleina Dume, Artist
Queens, New York
During the animation workshop, I took a concept that I brainstormed and created something with it. The animation was of a full day in the desert, from morning to night, that for me said so much without saying anything at all. I shared it with everyone at the workshop which is something I normally don’t do. Seeing this part of my imagination come to life made, and makes, me feel bold. This day reminds me of how real my goals to work in media and entertainment can be, if I continue to work hard and learn new skills.
Beatrice Dupuy, Mentor
Journalist, The Associated Press
Working with Aleina reminded me how hard it was to be a college senior from submitting college applications, editing term papers to taking the SATs. Aleina overcame each challenge along the way. Our most memorable time was when we had a second to take a break from her school work and projects to just be creative. Aleina is such a gifted writer that sometimes I felt that I was learning from her. I think Girls Write Now reminded us both to take time to have fun with our writing outside of school and work.
The Tree Comedian
Shade of Me
Girls Write Now
2019 Multimedia Anthology
Firstly, I chose FlipaClip since it was an interesting medium that I was able to grasp easily. Canva is also a part of my piece because poetry is one way that I love to express myself. It was very challenging to figure out where to begin. My story is such an important part of my life that I remember in detail, so simplifying it was very difficult for me. When I finally completed this project, I was so satisfied with the outcome.
Junior, Brooklyn, New York
From the moment I stepped into the first workshop and met my mentor Victoria, I felt sure that this would be one of the best experiences of my life. As I complete this year of Girls Write Now, I am confident to say that I was right. This program has helped me grow as a writer and a female. I was able to work with Victoria, who is one of the most honest and helpful people I have met. She has helped me thoughout one of the hardest years of high school. I am more bold than at the start.
Victoria Chow, Mentor
Communications Director, Pop-Up Magazine Productions
Mentoring with Girls Write Now and working with Alexis has been a great learning experience. One of my favorite moments was recording Alexis's podcast. I saw her take control of her voice as she confidently advocated for issues she cared about, from school lunch to climate change. No pauses, no questioning herself. I felt honored to be the first listener of this podcast (sure to be a big hit one day!). I was nowhere near as bold as Alexis when I was 16—but now, at 26, getting to mentor and learn from this intelligent, creative young woman, I feel bold, too.
When you reflect on your senior year in high school, and how long ago it was, what comes to mind? Perhaps thoughts of awkwardness, fondness, or the melancholy reality of growing up swirl through your mind. Maybe, just maybe, it is a sweet mixture of all three. For me, senior year is not a memory that I have to access. Until mid-May 2019, it was my entire life. I have wrapped up all of the emotional growth and living that I experienced as I entered the ‘real world’, for you to reminisce and for me to celebrate!
My Ode to
I came up with this concept during one of my 3 a.m. writing sessions and the next day I pitched it to my mentor and we refined the idea together. One challenge I had was coming up with jokes for trees.
Initially, I was going to make an animated video about how much I overthink. In a way, I maintained that idea because I am sharing my personal thoughts. I used FlipAClip, a video editing program on my Laptop, and Voice Memos on my iPhone. I built my video editing skills and writing skills, since I had so much to say and such a short time to do so. I faced several challenges, as my editing program kept deleting my audio. In the end, with every surprise technical difficulty, I was able to make my work more and more authentically mine.
This piece is about a young girl who was trying to find herself, and eventually was able to do that through music. This young girl is me. Music is a creative medium that allowed me to express myself in the way that I wanted. I was able to show my personality and personal growth through a decade (and more) of playing music and learning music theory.
Comedy is made every day for humans, but what about the trees?
The Tree Comedian
This is Ctrl + B: The Girls Write Now 2019 Multimedia Anthology in which softness is strength, words are power, and art is revolution. Operating at the intersection of language, technology, and art, the original work housed in this genre and medium-bending anthology demonstrates the passion, creativity, and unique insight of the teen writers and artists of Girls Write Now.
Their stories are transmitted through podcasts, videos, graphic design, websites, and more—all the ways that we write today. The next generation of women writers are shifting and challenging the paradigms of our communities. You will be moved by their voices to ask yourself the bold question: "What will you Ctrl+B?"
This website is my message to those who may feel as I once felt. You'll gain a glimpse into my mind as it worked to understand my surroundings and make the best of them. The site is divided into categories, each with posts related to the theme. These are the words I would’ve shown my younger self to make her see she already had within her everything she needed to thrive. It was only a matter of time until she became aware of it.
— Lynette Nylander, author, media maker,
and Girls Write Now multimedia panelist
Alicia Sanchez, Artist
Senior, Corona Queens, New York
In my mentor, Paula, I found an enthusiastic, supportive, and caring person who has become someone I can call a friend. I’m so happy to have met her and to be able to share common interests including music, books, and writing. Our weekly meetings consisted of us huddled over coffee unwinding from the stress of our day and learning more about each other. I am so grateful for our time together and although this sounds like a goodbye I know Paula and I will stay in touch.
Paula Mejia, Mentor
Digital Producer, The Gothamist
— Kimberly Drew, curator, writer, social activist, and Girls Write Now multimedia panelist
— Vivian Lee, editor at Little A and Girls Write Now multimedia panelist
— Maeve Higgins, podcast host and author of Maeve in America, and Girls Write Now multimedia keynote speaker and Agents of Change honoree
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For more than 20 years, Girls Write Now has been a nationally award-winning leader in arts education as New York’s first and only writing and mentoring organization for girls. We match underserved teen girls and gender non-conforming youth—90% of color, 90% high need, 75% immigrant or first generation, 25% LGBT/non-conforming—with women professional writers and digital media makers as their personal mentors. Our mentees are published in outlets including Teen Vogue and The New York Times, and perform at Lincoln Center and the United Nations, all while winning hundreds of Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. 100% of Girls Write Now seniors are accepted to college. Reaching nearly five thousands girls, Girls Write Now is a founding partner of the New York City Council’s STARS Citywide Girls. Through our Writing Works program, we deliver enriched professional development including internships and job opportunities, creating a technology and writing pipeline for the school and industries that need diverse talents most.
Girls Write Now's digital media programming has received numerous awards and recognitions including through the MacArther Foundation's Hive Learning Network, Edmond de Rothschild Foundations, and the National Endowment for the Arts. NBCUniversal awarded Girls Write Now its grand prize 21st Century Solutions grant for social innovation through media arts.
My Ode to
What the Scissors Taught Alana
This website was born from events that have morphed me into who I am today. This website is a gift to myself and a reminder that I have it in me to thrive in life. I regret only one thing while navigating the hardships of life these past four years, and it’s how I handled things: there were times when I should've said more, appreciated more, laughed and enjoyed the present more. This website is an embodiment of that journey. It is a gift to myself and it is why I am able to call myself an author.
— Jazmine Hughes, New York Times Magazine,
founder of Writers of Color, and Girls Write Now multimedia panelist
Amika + Aleksa
— Hallie Haglund, show writer and executive producer of Problems Areas, and Girls Write Now multimedia keynote speaker and Agents of Change honoree
What the Scissors Taught Alana
At Girls Write Now, our mentees are part of a generation yet to to be defined, a generation facing unprecedented challenges, freedoms, technologies, and choices.
Be bright. Be brash. Be bold.
Agatha + Adrienne
“To work with Girls Write Now, and to take part in the important work they do, encouraging a new generation of young women to get their ideas and stories out there, is a huge honor as what they do has never felt more important, or more necessary.”
My Ode to Senior Year
“Instilling in young women that not only does their voice matter, but they have a voice to begin with, is a powerful tool in advancing social change.”
Amika + Aleksa
Adriana Cisneros, Artist
Senior, Staten Island, New York
This piece was from a concept I came up with at three in the morning. Ariana is the reason it sounds like it wasn’t written at three in the morning. Together we sat down and figured out how to work this crazy concept into existence with no money.
Ariana Bacle, Mentor
Associate Editor, HBO
In an early session, we had an incredibly nuanced conversations about the beauty of multilingual writing—something even most “adults” hardly appreciate. We shared about our experiences growing up between languages, but also how we felt that multilingual writing and speech wasn’t just an issue of identity. It was an issue of craft. Writing was better when it welcomed vernacular, slang, foreign phrases, and mixed cultural references, and it better captured the diverse reality of people’s lives. From Nuyorican slam poetry to K-pop, we agreed that storytelling was more powerful when we didn’t adhere to the myth of linguistic purity.
“I absolutely believe everyone is stronger with a mentor, and Girls Write Now pairs talented mentors with talented mentees.”
Aisha + Kate
“Writing is often a solo act, but you need a community to give you feedback, encouragement, and model the essential truth that writing is for everyone. Girls Write Now is doing the important work connecting girls with exactly that kind of community.”
Shade of Me
Veronica Coniglio (Blake)
Agatha + Adrienne
“Knowing that programs like Girls Write Now exist makes me hopeful about a future where more young people are inspired to tell their own stories on their own terms.”
“Girls Write Now is filled with bright minds and important voices, and being even a tiny part of that fills me with hope.”
Artist pages & bios coming soon!