“Girls Write Now, you are filling the heart, the mind, the body. And truly, it’s a revolutionary act.” -GLORIA STEINEM
On June 3rd, the second annual Girls Write Now Awards was held at the legendary Bowery Hotel. It was a night honoring women that paved the way for our girls to break through boundaries, both in life and in writing, to realize their promise and the possibilities of change. More than 200 guests joined us, and with the incredible generosity of our sponsors, guests, Board, and Host Committee, we raised $110,000 that will allow us to continue to give young women the chance to share their stories and voices.
The New York Times National Correspondent, Tanzina Vega, and Girls Write Now mentee, Tuhfa Begum (attending New York University on a full scholarship this fall), were our emcees. Our diverse honorees – a publisher, a litigator, and a feminist activist– all expressed the importance of helping young women find their voice no matter the path their life takes.
If you missed the event or are inspired to support Girls Write Now with another generous gift, please donate here.
Photos and Videos
View event photos on our Facebook.
First Lady Chirlane McCray’s Advice for Raising Creative Kids [Metro]
7 Things Gloria Steinem has to Tell Girls Write Now [SheKnows]
Girls Run The World by Writing It [Huffington Post]
The Wonderful Experience of Girls Write Now [VIDA]
Breaking Through: Girls Write Now 2014 Anthology
Our 2014 anthology was soft-launched at this year’s event. With a foreword written by the First Lady of New York City, Chirlane McCray, and praise from all three honorees, plus Eve Ensler, Jane Friedman, Meg Wolitzer, Roxane Gay and Marcia Ann Gillespie, among many more. Read more about the anthology.
Gloria Steinem – Gamechanger Award
Girls Write Now Board Members, Gloria Jacobs and Ellen Sweet, former Ms. Magazine editors, gave an insider’s view of what it was like to work alongside Gloria Steinem. Gloria Jacobs shared a story from another fellow Ms. editor, “…I had all these wacky ideas but I was afraid to bring them up at meetings. I didn’t want to sound like an idiot. And then I realized that Gloria was always throwing out wacky ideas, and it gave me the courage to do the same. I realized it wasn’t just about creativity; it was about fearlessness. And that this was an integral part of how Gloria lived her life and taught women around the world how to live theirs.” Gloria Steinem spoke to our guests about the power of narrative, asserting, “Girls Write Now. You are filling the heart, the mind, the body. And truly, it’s a revolutionary act.”
Dawn L. Davis – Groundbreaker Award
Kamy Wicoff, Girls Write Now’s Board Chair, introduced Dawn, who kicked off her remarks with words of encouragement for our community. “The real honorees are you women, and the mentors involved in Girls Write Now…Just when you think you can’t do it anymore, you must. Because it’s so powerful.” Dawn went on to say, “Sometimes people think that because writers are black or brown that maybe it’s not for them, even though we know that words can be transcendent; I encourage you to read across ethnicities and across cultures.” She ended her remarks with a quote from Maya Angelou, “We have to recognize how powerful words are. In the first book of the bible, Genesis, it says ‘In the beginning, there was the word.’ But before there was the word, there was you writers.”
Roberta Kaplan – Trailblazer Award
Second-year Girls Write Now mentor, Julie Salamon, introduced her dear friend Roberta Kaplan, stating, “For me, Robbie represents everything Girls Write Now stands for. She is fierce, compassionate and unwavering in her pursuit of truth and justice.” Roberta spoke powerfully of her work in the case of United States v. Windsor, leading to a landmark ruling that a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) violated the U.S. Constitution by barring legally married same-sex couples from enjoying the wide-ranging benefits of marriage conferred under federal law. “We lawyers are writers too. In our briefs we told a story of Edie and Thea’s lives as the great love story that it was. Our goal, however, wasn’t to write a Harlequin romance. Rather, what we hoped to show is that Edie and Thea…lived their lives with the same decency and dignity as everybody else. And by showing that truth, we tried to demonstrate that they had the very kind of marriage that any single of us, gay or straight, would be so incredibly lucky to have.”
Mentee Pop-up Performances
Throughout the evening, mentees Chenelle Agnew (alongside mentor Mary Pat Kane), Mariah Dwyer, and Mennen Gordon showcased their work in a series of popup performances of poetry and original song.
The evening was made possible by our generous sponsors:
Open Road Integrated Media
Hammer Family Foundation
Simon & Schuster
37 Ink, An Imprint of Atria/Simon & Schuster
Blackstone Charitable Foundation
Hachette Book Group
Palisade Capital Management