This blog post was written by Girls Write Now mentee Kirby-Estar Laguerre.
When I was first asked to co-emcee the 2016 Girls Write Now Awards with Fusion Correspondent Alicia Menendez, I was beyond thrilled. I couldn’t wait to represent the organization that helped to shape the person I am today. Despite my excitement, I was nervous on the actual day of the event. I found myself reviewing my lines constantly. I ended up rehearsing so much that my throat went dry.
I didn’t begin to relax until the reception hour, when the venue started to fill up. I had the chance to chat with Alicia and meet Janet Mock early on in the evening, both of whom are such inspirational women. I even got to pose for pictures with them and other members of the Girls Write Now community. I felt like a celebrity!
By the time the program for the Awards started, I had regained my confidence. It felt so natural to talk on stage, and it didn’t hurt that the audience was incredibly encouraging and interactive. Being around people who support Girls Write Now’s mission was empowering. With all the buzz in the room, I was able to take on the additional honor of reading an excerpt — never before performed in public until that night — from Lena Dunham’s new book Is It Evil Not To Be Sure? Lena flash-released the book earlier that day and announced she was donating all profits to Girls Write Now. As a writer and lover of comedy, I think I was able to read the excerpt in the way Dunham had intended (or at least I hope I did!). It was very gratifying to hear the audience laugh at just the right moments.
By the end of the evening, I had been congratulated and complimented by many people. I truly appreciated their generosity. Girls Write Now ensured that my first time being an emcee was nothing but a wonderful experience. I am honored and grateful to have been given this opportunity.
If you missed the event or are inspired to learn more, here are assets from the Girls Write Now Awards:
- Check out photos that capture the evening’s festivities
- Hear from our award-winning honorees and watch their touching speeches and view their Q&As
- Twitter was humming with highlights from the night – get a preview!
- Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, New York Magazine, Newsweek and more covered the Awards – browse the stories
- View the 2016 Girls Write Now Awards Program