We were also honored to have guest speakers Heben Nigatu and Ashley Ford (Buzzfeed), and Nisha Dua (AOL Cambio now in partnership with Girls Write Now) share their experiences as women writers in an online world. Ashley Ford wrote about mingling with mentors and mentees at QWERTY in her blog post:
All of the girls who participated had mentors. Some of them had been working with their same mentors for years. It was fascinating watching the way they interacted. It was somewhere between sister and teacher, a line of respect, love, and inspiration.”
– Ashley Ford
Before they addressed the public, our speakers held a Q&A exclusively for our mentees. Here is a behind the scenes look:
Heben Nigatu, Ashley Ford, and Nisha Dua.
Footage taken by mentor Katie Bancroft. Music by Bensound.com
For mentee Angel Pizarro, QWERTY was her first opportunity to display her digital writing for an audience. We asked her about her experience at QWERTY:
What is QWERTY?
Tell us a bit about your project and what it was like displaying it!
What did you think of the other mentee’s work?
What did you take away from the guest speakers? Did anything they say stand out to you in particular?
Ashley Ford’s story really stayed with me after QWERTY. I felt that we were very similar in many ways. She revealed to us that she had wanted to be an actress, but realized she didn’t have what others crave. What she realized she really enjoyed was telling stories, and that was what she was best at. She saw herself as a bit introverted, and so the internet was where she felt most comfortable. I have felt the same way about all of these things, from wanting to be an actress and a storyteller, to feeling introverted. I thought it was very inspiring to see her success afterwards, and I’m grateful that I’m not the only one who has gone through those stages.
What sort of digital writing do you see yourself doing in the future?
- Awesome photos from the night by Dominique Taylor