Girls Write Now, the awesome organization that I mentor with, is looking for professional women writers to become mentors to a talented group of high school girls for the 2011-2012 program year.
I’ve written about my experience as a mentor with Girls Write Now before. But I’ve been thinking about the relationship between mentors and mentees a lot since last Thursday, when I heard Cornelius Eady talk about the word “yes.” He was introducing Camille Rankine, the poet he chose as one of the winners of the Poetry Society of America’s Chapbook Fellowship, and spoke about how important it is for emerging writers to hear the word “yes.” Yes to questions such as “Am I a good writer?” or “Is this any good?” Someone said yes to him and he said yes to Rankine, who will continue the chain.
As a mentor, every interaction with my mentee embodies this spirit of yes. Yes, your voice is important. Yes, you are capable. Yes, you are talented. Yes, I am listening. Yes, you can grow up to be a professional writer. Yes, you are a writer. Yes, you are good enough.
It feels good to say yes. If you are a woman writer in the New York City area and interesting in becoming a mentor with Girls Write Now, check out the application here.