Not So Sweet 16
By Claire Giannosa & Anna Humphrey
Our birthdays are one day apart. Last year, we celebrated by seeing a movie together—right before COVID-19 hit. Our 16th years were shaped by two events that changed the world, and our lives, forever.
When we came up with potential ideas for our pair piece, we both realized major events defined our 16th years: 9/11 and the coronavirus pandemic. We initially gave ourselves time to free-write and explore the topic, and then shared our writings with each other. We soon realized our individual themes, images, and syntax correlated closely to each other, and decided we should portray our work in a way to demonstrate that. Using our interconnected messages and similar sentiments, we weaved both of our pieces into one cohesive script. Eventually, we read our work aloud and recorded it, then edited the videos together to replicate our script. Our 16th years looked vastly different, but while watching the video, one can hopefully see the connections—the national and global events that marked our adolescence.
Claire Giannosa is a young writer from NYC, who spends all of her free time lost in stories. Last year she started writing her very first novel, and hopes to one day share many more with the world. Outside of writing, she is an active board member of Model United Nations and enjoys engaging in international policy. She also spends time exploring the city, dancing with elementary school kids, and scribbling poems in a notebook.
Anna Humphrey has a decade of speechwriting experience across government, industry, academia, and philanthropy. She's led teams of writers in developing messaging strategies, speeches, and op-eds for leaders of multi-billion-dollar companies, as well as for speakers at the 2020 Democratic National Convention.Anna supported a portfolio of 80+ speakers, including former heads of government and cabinet members, at the Washington Speakers Bureau. She's also written for the Director of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, the chief information officer at the White House, and the chief technology officer at the Pentagon.Anna is a native of Lexington, KY, and a graduate of the University of Dayton. She currently lives in Brooklyn and has volunteered with Girls Write Now for four years.