Enrollment & Application Questions
What is the enrollment timeline?
Applications are submitted between May 22, 2023-July 10, 2023. The deadline to apply for the 2023-2024 Collaboratory year is July 10, 2023.
Through July and August, Girls Write Now staff will review applications and invite candidates to complete a virtual interview to learn more about them.
In early September, accepted mentees & mentors will confirm their spot in the Girls
Write Now Collaboratory, and indicate which Learning Journeys they are interested in.
Starting in September, mentees and mentors will attend Studios and other events independently to get to know the community.
By November 2023, mentees and mentors will be paired and introduced to one another.
Registration for Learning Journeys is from October-November.
The Collaboratory year begins in September 2023 and extends through June 2024.
How long will the application take to complete?
The mentee or mentor application usually takes between 30 – 60 minutes to complete, but you do not need to complete the application in one session. You can save your progress and return to finish the application at any time.
Upon submission, you will receive an email confirmation. A PDF of your application can be sent to you upon request.
What should mentee candidates prepare for the application?
Both mentees and mentors are asked to supply a brief writing sample of 250-400 words.
Mentees will respond to each of the following questions in 250 words or less.:
Tell us a little about yourself and what you hope to get out of Girls Write Now?
In addition to meeting regularly with your mentor and having group gatherings, are you interested in one or more short-term time-intensive learning journey(s) where you will complete a specific project? If yes, please share more about why you are interested in participating in one or more learning journey(s). If you have any specific ideas or areas that you’d like to focus on for the project(s), please also share them here!
What should mentor candidates prepare for the application?
Both mentees and mentors are asked to supply a brief writing sample of 250-400 words.
Mentors will answer the following questions in 250 words or less, each question:
Tell us a little about yourself and why you would like to volunteer with Girls Write Now as a mentor.
What do the words underserved and under-recognized mean to you? What challenges might a young adult from an underserved school or community face in participating in a mentoring program? Please be as thoughtful as possible in your answer.
What skills, qualities, interests and experience do you possess that would make you a good Girls Write Now mentor? How might these help you approach challenging moments/situations that come up while working with your mentee?
A typical mentor/mentee pair session is one hour, either virtual or in-person. How would you envision your pair session? What are some engaging approaches? Note: Girls Write Now has a robust library of resources to support you in your mentor role, including prompts and exercises you can use at pair sessions.
When will I hear if I have been accepted?
Mentees and mentors who have been accepted into the Collaboratory will be contacted via email by late August. They will need to confirm their acceptance by early September in order to be matched with a mentee or mentor.
Do mentors receive background checks before they are accepted?
Yes! Each mentor must complete a background check before they are accepted as a mentor with Girls Write Now. This is a security precaution to make sure that our mentees are safe with any mentor they meet or interact with at Girls Write Now.
Collaboratory Design Questions
What do I need to have to participate in the Collaboratory?
Both mentees and mentors need to have a desire to create! Whether you want to create poetry, fiction, non-fiction, audio, film, visual arts, or something else entirely—bring your excitement for storytelling!
In more tangible terms, a smart phone or internet-connected device is helpful for connecting to your mentee or mentor. Many resources and events are accessible on the Girls Write Now website and through the Girls Write Now portal.
What kind of time commitment is required as a mentee/mentor with Girls Write Now?
There are many ways to engage with and participate as a mentee or mentor with Girls Write Now. The minimum time requirement for mentees and mentors is 3 hours per month, consisting of…
At least 2 pair sessions with your mentee/mentor per month (approximately 1 hour each)
Attendance at one hour-long Studio event per month
Beyond those requirements, mentees and mentors are invited to attend monthly Writing Workshops taught by expert teaching artists, meet guest authors during Friday Night Salons, network with industry professionals at College & Career Chats, and discuss the future of storytelling at Editorial Forums. Mentors are also encouraged to attend quarterly Professional Development events.
The Collaboratory offers many unique learning journeys and experiences that enable mentees and mentors to expand their skills and develop community. The minimum time requirement is three hours per month; this includes at least two pair sessions (one hour each) and attendance at one monthly Studio of your choice. Each pair is encouraged to attend any event of interest to them!
Can I meet with my mentor in person?
Yes! If you and your mentor are located in the same geographical area and if both of you feel comfortable meeting in person, you are encouraged to meet with one another in a public space (such as a coffee shop, park, or bookstore) for pair sessions, readings, events, and anything else you’d like to do as a pair!
When do I meet with my mentor?
Once the Collaboratory begins and you are introduced to your mentor (or mentee), you will schedule your pair sessions together according to your joint availability. Pair sessions are typically about one hour long, but they can be longer or shorter based on the needs and interests of the pair.
Pair sessions can be in-person at a public place (such as a coffee shop, park, bookstore, etc.) or virtual. All pair sessions will be logged by the mentee or mentor in their Girls Write Now portal.
Can I apply to be a mentee if I am 24 but will be 25 when the Collaboratory begins?
Girls Write Now mentees are typically between 14-24 years old. If you are going to be 25 or above in the Fall of 2023, we encourage you to apply to be a mentor with Girls Write Now!
If you are going to be 25 or above but would still like to be a mentee, you can explain why the mentee role is a better fit for you on your application and we will take your particular case into consideration.
How will you help me prepare for college? How can you help me prepare for a career?
Girls Write Now helps prepare participants for college through a host of curriculum covering college lists, personal statement, college applications, funding your education, time management, independent living, and social skills. We also have College & Career Guides, who support mentees and mentors with the college admissions process and job coaching and counseling.
Will programming be in-person or virtual?
All Girls Write Now programming and events in the 2023-2024 year will be hybrid—there will be in-person and virtual options to attend.
What happens if I am accepted and then cannot participate in the Collaboratory any longer?
While we hope that you will be able to keep your commitment, we do understand that circumstances can change. If you are accepted and then cannot participate in the Collaboratory any longer, please notify a Girls Write Now staff member. If you have already been paired with a mentee or a mentor, Girls Write Now staff will find another mentee or mentor to match with them. You will still be invited to attend events that are open to the public and Girls Write Now alumni, and you would be welcome to return to the Collaboratory for the next program year if your situation has changed.
When does the Collaboratory start? When does it end?
The Collaboratory begins in September 2023 and concludes in June 2024.
Will I be withdrawn if I can’t meet all of the Collaboratory requirements?
If you are unable to attend at least two pair sessions and one Studio event per month, you will be contacted by a Girls Write Now staff member to discuss whether or not you have capacity to continue participating in the Collaboratory. Because mentees and mentors work together as a pair, it can be challenging when one member of a pair is not responsive or dismissive of the commitment both members of the pair have made to Girls Write Now. Usually, there are mentees and mentors on Girls Write Now’s waitlist who Girls Write Now can invite into the Collaboratory if a mentee or mentor is unable to honor their commitment to Girls Write Now.
Mentees and mentors are only withdrawn from the Collaboratory if they have been uncommunicative for at least 6 weeks, unresponsive to Girls Write Now staff’s invitations to discuss their participation, or if they request to be withdrawn.
Who can participate in the Collaboratory?
Mentor Collaborators—ages 25 to 95 from across the United States—are passionate about passing on their knowledge, experience, and craft to support the next generation of writers.
Mentee Collaborators—age 14-24 from across the United States—want to learn and grow as writers and leaders.
Girls Write Now welcomes cis women, transgender men and women, non-binary, 2Spirit, genderqueer, and other gender expansive identities as mentors and mentees. We are a space for writers and creators too often not given the respect, opportunity, and care due to their gender identity. This includes femme-presenting writers and creators connecting with each other around their femininity and experiences as girls and women.
What do I get for participating in the Collaboratory?
Participating in the Collaboratory provides you with a one-to-one mentoring relationship, access to high quality resources and events to support your creative goals and aspirations, support from a robust community of writers and leaders, and exclusive job, internship, scholarship, and publication opportunities. Want to write a novel? Find and secure a career that fulfills and supports you? Meet other writers and creatives? Make a podcast? We’re here to help you make it all happen!
Will mentees’ parents or guardians be involved in any way?
Parents or guardians of mentees under 18 will need to provide consent for that mentee to participate in the Collaboratory. Once a mentee candidate has been accepted, they will receive a Parental Consent Form for their parents or guardians to review and sign. Girls Write Now cannot enroll any mentee under 18 without the completion of this form.
Parents or guardians may also be contacted if a mentee is under 18 and has been unresponsive for a number of weeks after repeated attempts at communication from their mentor and Girls Write Now staff. The mentee’s parents or guardians may be contacted to assure that the mentee is all right and still interested in participating in the Collaboratory.
Are there going to be Core Groups this year?
Yes and no! What you’ve experienced as Core Groups in the 2022-2023 program year will be called Studios in the 2023-2024 program year.
Studios will be monthly one hour meetings where Collaboratory participants can join together with a Girls Write Now Staff Lead to discuss writing, creating, and leadership. Studios will be focused on different genres of interest to the community each month. Each pair can select which Studio they’d like to attend—and pairs are welcome to attend more than one in any given month!
We’re still planning out what the schedule will be, but we’re imagining something like this: a Studio focused on reading and writing Poetry held once a month, a Studio focused on reading and writing Fiction held once a month, a Studio focused on reading and writing Nonfiction held once a month, and so on. Eventually Studios will cover a broad range of topics, interests, industries, and more to meet the growing needs of our community.
At the beginning of the program year, all Studios will be scheduled, so you’ll be able to pick as a pair which ones you’d like to attend—and you can always change your mind as the year progresses!
Are there going to be Pair Tree Types this year?
Instead of Pair Tree Types, we’re developing a system of credits that pairs can earn by participating in Collaboratory initiatives, having pair sessions, attending events, and submitting to publications. The minimum for everyone will be 3 credits per month (to represent two pair sessions and one Studio), but you will have the opportunity to earn as many credits as you’d like!
By registering for Learning Journeys (which are optional), you can build specific skills, develop personal and professional projects, and earn badges that will help you excel in and beyond Girls Write Now.
Am I automatically re-enrolled?
Each current mentee and mentor will need to complete an End of Year form [Either the Mentee Form or the Mentor Form] in order to re-enroll next year. You will not need to apply again, and you can decide on this form if you would like to work with the same mentee or mentor again next year.