Léna is also a Regional Manager for Writopia Lab whose mission is to foster joy, literacy, and critical thinking in kids and teens from all backgrounds through creative writing.

"Well, the question is, what do you want to believe? Do you want to live in a world where things are possible, or in one where they aren't?" Cin, Edges.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Girls Write Now is Rockin' an Anthology

I spent a couple of days this week on a reading jag of work from literary teens and their older counterparts.

This winter I was asked to be co-editor of this years' Girls Write Now Anthology, and since I adore this community so much, my answer couldn't be anything but "yes".

A more organized person might have paced herself, (I'm looking at you, co-editor and pop culture diva Kirthana Ramisetti!) but my kids were on spring break and before I knew it, my editing "duties" were upon me. But as with service of any kind, I'm left wondering, who is really doing the service here?

The first day I locked myself in the bedroom and wrapped myself up in sweet and harsh words. In yearning and despair. Teens and-those-who-love-them aren't afraid to go to dark places. It made me fall in-love with Girls Write Now and the power of words, of people finding their "voice" all over again. GWN offers an opportunity for a diverse group of young women to not only nurture their craft, but to transform themselves through the process of writing and being part of a supportive community.

My eyes were burning by the end of the night.

The next day I came into the city to meet with Kirthana at GWN headquarters in mid-town, prepared  to stay well into the night if need be. We had to arrange all of the submissions! Well, it turned out that some of our incredible Anthology Team had already done half of the work! They had come in and put the submissions into chapters already - Kirthana and I just needed to spend a few hours to arrange the work within those chapters into some sort of narrative arc. We marveled at the level of commitment, service and professionalism of not only our team, but the entire community of Girls Write Now.

We had already decided on chapter themes at our team meeting, and found the pieces organized into folders entitled: Growth, Family, Identity, New York City, Relationships, Writing, with a TITLE lifted from an OPENING LINE of one of the mentees' pieces, supported by a quote from a fully seasoned author. We arranged poetry, fiction, memoir within each chapter, as I wrote down the names of each of the authors in their order. There was something so powerful about that kind of writing, and saying their names out loud, reflecting the richness and diversity of Girls Write Now. Kirthana and I left  satisfied and inspired.

Thank YOU, Girls Write Now, for letting me be of service!

Now all we have to do is write the PREFACE by Monday!

The Anthology will be ready in mid-June and will be sold on Amazon. You can also find Kirthana on Twitter under her handle, @popscribblings.

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  1. Fantastic! Nice work girls and Lena for having the skills to edit! Can't wait to read what you all have done.

  2. Wow, that sounds like a great anthology, and one I'll be looking out for once it's in print. Good work!

  3. Thanks guys! The girls and their mentors are so awesome - it was my privilege!

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