WriteGirl: The Power of A Girl and Her Pen


By Haley Jamieson

WriteGirl is a non-profit charity organization that brings creative writing to girls, many of whom do not receive the arts education they deserve. The organization helps high-density schools and probation camps—it also holds writing workshops that attract girls from all over the city.

In a conversation with one of the volunteers, the Oracle learned of WriteGirl’s tremendous work in the city of Los Angeles. It helps public school students where the annual graduation rate “hovers around fifty percent.” Since its beginning, WriteGirl seniors have all graduated high school and enrolled in college.

Washington Announcement Source: WriteGirl Stock Photo (Used with permission)
Washington Announcement
Source: WriteGirl Stock Photo (Used with permission)

WriteGirl’s dedication has been nationally recognized. On Nov. 22, Michelle Obama presented WriteGirl and twelve other after-school programs with the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award. This is the highest national honor an after-school program can receive.

A sixteen-year-old mentee and her mentor, along with Founder/Executive Director Keren Taylor, traveled to DC to receive the award and meet the First Lady.

The organization works with a system of mentors and mentees. A mentor may work with multiple girls to encourage their writing. They work on poetry, songwriting, creative writing and more.

The organization bring about 70 girls together for an entire WriteGirl season, a school year, to work one-on-one with these mentors, who will meet up with their mentees anywhere in the city—mostly libraries and coffee shops—to help then work through creative writing prompts.

WriteGirl Publications Photo by: Haley Jamieson '16
WriteGirl Publications
Photo by: Haley Jamieson ’16

WriteGirl publishes the girls’ works in yearly anthologies that have won numerous awards every  year. These books include prompts for writing, as well as writing from the girls that highlight the different types of workshops offered throughout the year: poetry, journalism, fiction, screenwriting, songwriting and playwriting.

WriteGirl’s mission is to “[promote] creativity, critical thinking and leadership skills to empower teen girls.” Although they don’t promote themselves as educational tutors, they do offer college guidance and essay writing workshops to their seniors.

WriteGirl believes, as does the National Committee on Arts and Humanities Youth Program, that the best way to inspire passion and creativity in learning is through free expression in the arts.