I am never going to forget May CHAPTERS. I remember how frightened I was to even walk on stage during my first CHAPTERS in 2015. My mentor Stephanie had to teach me to read louder, read slower, and emphasize my words. Two years later, it felt surreal that I was going to co-emcee the event itself. I didn’t know how I should act on stage. I wanted to present myself in the best light possible.
The 2017 Girls Write Now May CHAPTERS Reading, hosted by New-York Historical Society in their beautiful new auditorium with an audience of 180. Our keynote speaker Emma Straub, former Girls Write Now mentor and bestselling author of The Vactioners and Modern Lovers, spoke about the importance of mentoring and led an endearing interview with 2 of our mentees Caroline and Winkie. Read about their experience below!
Watch videos from the May CHAPTERS!
May CHAPTERS was the perfect way for me to say goodbye to the program that will forever be in my heart. It was a celebration of all the accomplishments that I and every single mentee on that stage have made. It was a culmination of every effort that we have put in to grow and thrive as writers.
When I met Caroline though, I realized that the best way to host was to just be myself. Caroline was a hilarious and talented mentee that I wish I could have met earlier in my time with Girls Write Now. Nonetheless, I’m fortunate for May CHAPTERS for allowing us to meet, because she made me feel comfortable being myself on stage. Both of us were unsure of what to expect that night–all we knew was that we were buzzing with anxious adrenaline.
When we walked in the library, I was completely excited, definitely nervous, somewhat afraid, and a bit afraid. I had never had the chance to interview a published, well-known author. I had no idea what to expect. When I walked out of the library, I was completely calm, definitely happy, somewhat laughing, and a bit overly confident about the rest of the night. This transition occurred in just half an hour thanks to Emma Straub. The interview with her felt like a conversation with an old friend. Her reassuring and calm nature immediately set a relaxing mood in the library. Meanwhile, due to her intriguing and funny words, I believe that she is the epitome of a “cool person.”
As part of the Digital Media Program, I previously viewed Chapters as a solely Writing and Mentoring Program venture. One that I could only watch and admire from the outside. I was fascinated by how articulate the young women were and amazed by their distinct voices that fully captivated me and the rest of the audience. This May, my fascination and appreciation for Chapters and the mentees exponentially grew. I saw the time, effort, and talent of each growing writer and of each vibrant Girls Write Now administrator.
May Chapters also allowed me to meet and bond with another wonderful Girls Write Now mentee. If not for this event, I would regret missing out on the opportunity to work with and laugh with Winkie Ma. She was such a collaborative, funny, kind soul, and I look forward to hearing her speak in June Chapters.
Although this is my last year as a mentee, I will always be excited for when the Chapters “season” starts. I will surely visit as an alumna as these events are truly both powerful and empowering for women of any age.