WriteGirl is a Los Angeles-based project of Community Partners, an American nonprofit organization. Since 2001, WriteGirl has paired professional women writers in the Los Angeles area with at-risk teenage girls who do not otherwise have access to creative writing or mentoring programs. The mentoring focuses on the craft of creative writing and empowerment through self-expression. By means of one-on-one sessions and monthly workshops, girls are given techniques, insights, and practical advice for writing in several genres: fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, songwriting, and screenwriting.
"I volunteer with about one hundred other volunteers, who come from a variety of different occupations. There are screenwriters, technical writers. That variety in our volunteer base gives texture to the organization," said volunteer Teresa Huang in an interview with Los Angeles magazine in 2013.
100% of WriteGirl's graduating seniors have entered college, many on full or partial scholarships. This is particularly noteworthy because many of the girls come from at-risk communities where they are beating the odds just graduating from high school.
In its 12th season, WriteGirl will be working with over 350 teens from over 80 high schools throughout Los Angeles County.
Each year, WriteGirl publishes an anthology of work from the girls and their mentors. Collectively, WriteGirl anthologies have won a total of 45 international and national book awards.
WriteGirl hosts the Bold Ink Awards, an annual gala to celebrate the strong voices of inspiring women writers who serve as positive role models for teens.
Bold Ink Award Recipients 2012
Screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg, Author Kami Garcia, Author Margaret Stohl, Screenwriter/Director Lisa Cholodenko, Playwright/Screenwriter Zoe Kazan
Bold Ink Award Recipients 2011
Screenwriter/Actress/Director Nia Vardalos, Comedian/Writer Sarah Silverman, Songwriter Kara DioGuardi, Writer/Producer Aline Brosh McKenna, Writer/Producer Winnie Holzman, Writer/Director Savannah Dooley
Bold Ink Award Recipients 2010
Writer/Executive Producer Elizabeth Sarnoff, Entrepreneur/Author Lynda Resnick, Novelist Marisa Silver, Poet Patricia Seyburn, Screenwriter/Director Nancy Meyers
Bold Ink Awards Recipients 2009
Novelist/Screenwriter Gigi Levangie, Pulitzer Prize-winning Journalist Sonia Nazario, Academy Award nominated Screenwriter Naomi Foner, Grammy-winning songwriter Diane Warren, Screenwriter/Director Gina Prince-Bythewood, Poet Wanda Coleman, Emmy-nominated Writer/Producer Jennifer Crittenden
Bold Ink Award Recipients 2008
Academy Award-winning Screenwriter Diablo Cody, Academy Award nominated Screenwriter Robin Swicord, Writer/Producer Sarah Fain, 2009 California Poet Laureate Carol Muske-Dukes, Writer/Producer Liz Craft, Novelist Mona Simpson, LA Times Columnist & NPR Commentator Patt Morrison, Screenwriter/Producer/Director Callie Khouri
Bold Ink Award Recipients 2007
TV Writer/Producer Carol Flint, TV & Memoir Writer Jill Soloway, NPR Journalist/Author Sandra Tsing Loh, Author Janet Fitch, Poet Suzanne Lummis
WriteGirl was launched by founder Keren Taylor in December 2001 to bring the skills and energy of professional women writers to teenage girls who do not otherwise have access to creative writing or mentoring programs; thirteen girls attended the first meeting.
"To give young people confidence in that skill set is huge," Taylor told the LA Times in a 2011 interview. "And writing is not only an academic and professional skill, it's also a window into the way we understand ourselves as individuals and express who we are to the world."
After six months, WriteGirl published Threads, its premier anthology of members’ work. A standing-room only public reading at the Knitting Factory in Hollywood helped to kick off the book’s release.
The second season brought double the membership and the publication of a second anthology, Bold Ink. This book was ushered in with a sold-out event at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills.
Keren Taylor and WriteGirl’s unique programming have received numerous awards and commendations for exemplary community service, including California Nonprofit of the Year.
"WriteGirl -- like Los Angeles -- is truly global. We have girls who have come from Thailand, from China, from Korea, from the Philippines, from South America, from Mexico, from Canada, from all over the place," Taylor told KCET in a 2013 interview. "They are so busy trying to live their lives here that they often are not looking back. We encourage them to do so. I remember at one of the first-ever WriteGirl workshops, one of our girls was from Korea. She wrote about the currency and how much she missed the feel of the coins. It was really so wonderful to be with her while she wrote and reminisced."