Girls Write Now Holiday Appeal

(Courtesy: Girls Write Now)
(Courtesy: Girls Write Now)

When I first learned about Girls Write Now I knew the program was perfect for me. I never had a mentor growing up and always wished I had someone to help guide my writing and make me feel like I wasn’t crazy for dreaming of a career in music journalism. Last year, I was lucky to mentor Priscilla. Our first pair session involved us talking about music, specifically Adele and her two albums 19 and 21, and how our age and generation defines us. This morphed into two pieces we wrote and read at a Chapters reading together. The first time I had ever read one of my articles aloud, it was nerve-wracking and exhilarating at the same time. Sharing the stage with Priscilla was a joy and I was so taken aback by the support of the entire community after our reading.



This year, my new mentee Angel has a passion for music that reminds me of myself in high school. During our first meeting, we talked about Ed Sheeran and One Direction and I told her the story of when I interviewed 1D. Learning she had never been to a concert before, it was my goal to take her to a show. When Amos Lee came to perform at the Beacon Theater, I knew this was the perfect moment. Just seeing how excited she was for the concert and the awe we both shared for the beauty of the venue and his performance was something I’ll never forget. I’m not quite sure if Angel wants to pursue a career in music journalism, but I’m happy that if she does I can guide her along the way and be an example of someone who made her love of writing into a career.

Girls Write Now has really shown me the impact having a mentor can have and reminded me of why I love writing so much. Sharing my passion for writing with high school girls is unlike any experience I’ve had volunteering before. This Thanksgiving and holiday season, I want to give back to Girls Write Now by raising money to support an organization I believe in.

If you’re interested in making a donation, you can visit my FirstGiving page.

Thanks in advance for your support! And Happy Thanksgiving!


A Glimpse Into You Sing I Write’s Life For Girls Write Now


Last summer, my friend told me about Girls Write Now, a mentoring program that pairs women in the writing field with high school girls who are looking to pursue a career in writing. It has always been a dream of mine to mentor someone once I was more established in my career, especially since I never had that growing up. Some of my mentors in later life as a freelancer are now my colleagues and I know how important it is to have someone else show you the ropes or just make you feel like you’re not crazy for pursing a career in journalism.

I was accepted as a mentor on the day of my 28th birthday and it has been an experience like no other. My 17-year-old mentor has helped me jump outside my comfort zone and realize my love of writing in first person. She was always so intrigued by my adventures interviewing bands that it hit me that maybe others would want to hear about my experiences as well.

Earlier this month, we had a Chapters reading where mentors and mentees took the stage to read some of our pieces. The first time I’ve ever read my article in front of a crowd, I was a bit intimidated but my mentee Priscilla and I took the stage together and once I got a few laughs from my opening line I calmed down. I thought my blog was a fitting place to post this. Enjoy!


“Annie, you know you’re now closer to 30 than you are 20,” my brother-in-law reminded me on my 28th birthday.

Just the thing every girl wants to be told.

At 17, I dreaded the thought of no longer being a teen and soon entering my twenties. I felt old and decrepit and the thought of college and the dreadful “real world” soon filled me with fear. I did not want to be an adult with responsibilities, with a boring 9 to 5 job. I didn’t want to be miserable.

At 17, that seemed to be my immediate future and it scared me to death!

It’s strange that now, being 28, I feel so young. While I have what seems to be adult responsibilities — rent to pay, a job to go to — most days I still feel like a kid.

Perhaps it’s because I’m a music journalist and the majority of my days are spent writing about Justin Bieber or which boy Taylor Swift’s current single is about. Sometimes I even get to hang out with the bands I hear on the radio. I once interviewed One Direction at their hotel as a swarm of girls were outside screaming and anxiously waiting to meet them. Confession: all five guys gave me a kiss on the cheek.

The truth of the matter is that I have every teenage girl’s dream job and that’s why I feel so young. On a daily basis I’m channeling my inner 17-year-old self, trying to figure out what questions I would have wanted to ask my favorite bands. It also doesn’t hurt that I look about the age of the demographic I write for. But I don’t mind it. To be in your 20s and still get mistaken for someone in their teens is a good thing.

Well, I’ll see how I really feel about that when 30 comes around. Given my day job and my annual request for a Backstreet Boy in my stocking each Christmas much to the chagrin of my parents, I have a feeling my future will still involve listening to boy bands, writing about Justin Bieber and endlessly deciphering Taylor Swift’s song lyrics. Being a grown up isn’t so bad after all.

Benefit Features

Tinderbox Music Festival Celebrates Female Musicians Today In NYC

Today marks the third annual Tinderbox Music Festival at Webster Hall. Over 35 established and emerging female acts will descend upon New York from France, London, Japan and the U.S. to perform throughout the day. Doors open at 12:30 p.m. and acts will play for 12 hours.

The line-up includes CocoRosie, Jean Grae, Selebrities, Lili Hydyn, Computer Magic and many more. Founded by singer-songwriter Alyson Greenfield in September 2010, 100% of the proceeds will be donated to non-profit organizations that empower female artists including Girls Write Now, Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls and the Tinderbox Songwriting Workshop as well as to the recent devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy.

“The goal has been to create a sustainable platform for emerging artists which also benefits local nonprofits empowering young women,” Alyson Greenfield, Tinderbox Music Festival’s Founder and Director said. “I really wanted this to be a full-circle event encompassing and affecting multiple communities.”

“Tinderbox’s mission has always included giving back to the community,” she added. “This year we feel it is important to help with the immediate local need in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.”

The day’s performance will be an eclectic blend of all genres including Americana, post-punk, hip-hop, indie folk, experimental, electro-pop, and soul. For more, visit Tinderbox Music Festival’s website.