Sunday, October 24, 2010

Girls Write Now

On Saturday morning, Libba Bray and I were the guest speakers at Girls Write Now.

Girls Write Now is a nonprofit organization that provides a creative-writing-focused youth mentoring program for girls in New York City. High school students are paired with mentors who are writers, educators, publishing industry professionals, etc. They meet weekly on their own, and then all the mentors and mentees come together once a month for an intensive writing workshop. It's an awesome organization.

This month's workshop focused on fantasy (hence Libba and me). We were scheduled to speak in the middle of the workshop, in between writing exercises and discussions -- the ham and cheese in the workshop sandwich.

Not that either of us were hammy or cheesy. Okay, I was a little cheesy. It's my firm (and admittedly cheesy) belief that being a writer is the closest you can get in this world to being a wizard -- you're trying to cast a spell with your words. But maybe I should have picked another sandwich meat for that allegory... Turkey? No, that's not right either. Chicken? I am a bit of a chicken, but that's irrelevant... Ooh, tomato, mozzarella, and basil on a baguette with balsamic vinegar... *trots off to kitchen*

Seriously, I had a fantastic time! Our wonderful host Maria Romano asked us great questions for our interview/talk, and Libba was, of course, absolutely brilliant and hilarious. (Really, I think that should be added to her name: "Libba Bray the Brilliant and Hilarious.") I think I avoided saying anything too inane, though I did admit to the fact that when I was a kid, I used to memorize the location of my stuffed animals before I left the room so I'd notice if they moved in my absence. This can either be seen as a sign of my budding writerly imagination or, more likely, my first step on the road to insanity...

At any rate, it was a great day. I had a blast. And I think the students had fun too. If you're interested in learning more about this wonderful organization, click here to take a look at their website.

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9 Comments:

At 11:37 PM, Blogger Q said...

I'm sure your cheese only added to the presentation.

 
At 4:36 AM, Anonymous Joanna said...

Haha, glad to hear I wasn't the only one with the moving-stuffed-animal fascination/fixation:)Too much TV, I think!

 
At 6:51 AM, Blogger Laura said...

I wish you took some pictures. =)

Glad you had fun!

 
At 10:45 AM, Blogger Sarah Beth Durst said...

Q: I do love cheese. Especially Gouda.

Joanna: I'm relieved to hear it's not just me too!

Laura: I wish I'd taken some too. Just didn't think of it while I was there. :(

 
At 10:49 AM, Anonymous libba said...

You were wise and warm and witty. (That's a lot of alliteration.) Loved what you said about writing = wizardry in this world. Also, stuffed animals do party in the night. That is a stone-cold fact. You were on to something. :-)

 
At 11:25 AM, Blogger Julie Polk said...

As a GWN mentor, I can tell you for a fact that the mentors got at least as much out of your and Libba's talk as the mentees! I especially loved what you said about fantasy bringing wonder to a jaded world -- that got added to my ever-growing list of fabulous quotations.

 
At 11:23 PM, Blogger Sarah Beth Durst said...

Libba: Thanks! *blush* You're not paranoid if the Cabbage Patch Dolls really are out to get you...

Julie: That's so great to hear! Thanks!!

 
At 7:57 AM, Blogger Juliet Packer said...

Sarah,

You and Libba were terrific, funny, and incredibly insightful. I'm the GWN mentor who introduced myself as having gone to Princeton. From the short piece you read you really captured the bizarre nature of reunions (and reunion outfits). Just ordered the book, can't wait to read it. Juliet

 
At 11:43 PM, Blogger Sarah Beth Durst said...

Juliet: Thanks so much! It was great to meet you! Tiger-tiger-tiger, sis-sis-sis, boom-boom-boom.....

 

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