2 W 64th St
New York, New York 10023

NEW YORK, NY (December 10) – Girls Write Now (GWN), New York's premier creative writing and mentoring organization for high school girls, today announced its Annual Winter Reading, co-sponsored by the New York Society for Ethical Culture. On Saturday, January 17, join participants in the program for an afternoon with young women writers and the women who inspire them -- including guest speaker Judy Blundell, author of the 2008 National Book Award-winning What I Saw and How I Lied (Scholastic) in Young People's Literature -- at the New York Society for Ethical Culture, located at 2 West 64th Street at Central Park West on the Upper West Side. The event will take place from 5-7PM, and a $10-20 donation to GWN for admission is suggested (although no one will be turned away at the door for lack of funds).

The reading, in part a celebration of National Mentoring Month, highlights the creative work and life-changing relationships that form over the course of a Girls Write Now season, and will feature original collaborative works written and performed by mentor-mentee pairs. The New York Times recently praised the organization in a lengthy feature for its transformative power in the lives of young local writers: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/14/nyregion/14writers.html

“This is a wonderful opportunity to see the Girls Write Now community in action,” said Maya Nussbaum, Executive Director of Girls Write Now. “The spirit of our mission is perfectly encapsulated in this collaborative showcase.”

Praised by Publisher’s Weekly as “a stylish, addictive brew,” in which “readers can taste Evie’s alienation and her yearning,” bestselling author Judy Blundell’s What I Saw and How I Lied (Scholastic, November 2008) is a story about why some truths are never meant to be revealed. In awarding her the 2008 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, the judges noted, “this novel has all the hallmarks of a classic noir, but Judy Blundell shifts these tropes into the equally elusive and shady realm of adolescence. A young girl moves from innocence to desire, from prejudice to justice and from the tumultuous bonds of family into a sad, enduring wisdom.” Judy Blundell has written books for middle grade, young adult, and adult readers under several pseudonyms. Under the pen name Jude Watson, she is the author of several New York Times bestselling and award winning series and media tie-in novels. Among her forthcoming projects is Book #4 in the New York Times bestselling series, The 39 Clues. Judy Blundell lives in Katonah, New York, with her husband and daughter.

Scholastic and Girls Write Now are further connected by the ongoing participation of GWN mentees in the annual Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. This year, GWN mentees won ten Gold Keys and three Silver Keys (up from seven awards last year). Having been so successful in 2007, GWN made it a program requirement in 2008. “All 35 of our mentees gained the invaluable experience of editing and polishing their work for public consumption,” said Nussbaum. And, in addition to winning a Gold Key in the poetry category, GWN mentee Allison Pilatsky is also being published in “Radiant Minds,” the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards anthology of New York teen writers. By incorporating this vital experience into the GWN curriculum, GWN has helped bring the contest to students from public high schools and low-income neighborhoods.

Founded in 1998, Girls Write Now Inc. provides a safe and supportive environment where girls can expand their natural writing talents, develop independent creative voices, and build confidence in making healthy choices in school, career and life. GWN provides at-risk high school girls with emerging writing talent the unique opportunity to be custom matched with a professional woman writer who serves as her individual mentor and writing coach, meeting with her weekly for one entire school year, and for up to four years. GWN also enrolls each student in a vibrant writing community and professional network -- all mentees and mentors gather monthly for genre-based workshops conducted at Teachers & Writers Collaborative -- the home of the oldest writers-in-the-schools program in the country -- in midtown Manhattan. The year is punctuated by four public readings, college and career prep seminars, a social action series, community library workshops, field trips to cultural events, and endless opportunities for scholarships and publication. The magic of the program is reflected in a solid ten-year track record, a 100-percent college acceptance rate for all seniors who have competed the program, an annual anthology of original writing, and the seven-genre portfolios each student emerges equipped with each season. More: www.girlswritenow.org.

The New York Society for Ethical Culture (NYSEC) is the cornerstone of an ethical and humanist movement that was founded in 1876 to advance social justice for all. Ethical Culture emphasizes principles of behavior based on expressing one’s conscience through moral and humane actions. Some of the organizations they founded or helped establish include the Legal Aid Society; the NAACP; the ACLU; the Visiting Nurse Service; the first free kindergarten in America; and the First US settlement house. NYSEC is housed in a landmark building on Central Park West that will celebrate its 100th Anniversary in 2010. Their building is home to hundreds of public programs a year including panel discussions on key social issues, concerts, theatrical events, town meetings, and writing, music and art workshops. Their Social Service Board runs a women’s shelter on-site; operates a supervised visitation program for families in need; and sponsors homeless artists and writers workshop exhibitions. More: www.nysec.org.


Official Website: http://www.girlswritenow.org

Added by LACerand on December 9, 2008