Truth be told, I’ve never had a great experience reading a short story or poetry collection. I’m not sure if this is because they are too short winded or because I was just not able to connect with most of the pieces, but either way they are always a burden to start and a relief to finish. That was until I picked up Girls Write Now’s 2014 anthology “Breaking Through” this past week.
For those who are unfamiliar with Girls Write Now, they are a non profit organization that provides guidance for inner-city high school girls in New York City. The organization pairs the students with professional writers to help them develop their creativity and explore careers in writing. The result each year is stronger writing, life-long friendships, and the opportunity to tell a story. Each year, the organization releases a collection of work written by the mentors and mentees that surrounds a specific theme or idea. This year (2014), the women wrote fiction, poetry, and memoirs that centered around the theme of breaking through, or pushing through boundaries.
As someone who is currently facing some pretty tough obstacles, picking up this year’s anthology was a blessing. It was so easy for me to get engrossed in the sea of stories, some of which echoed the same sentiments I have felt at one point or another. The pieces that hit me the hardest were the ones that tackled the writer’s fear of raising their voice. This is something that I currently identify with, so reading how the writers were able to overcome this caused some pretty deep self-reflection. I feel more inspired now than ever to jump back into other writing styles I loved but dropped, most especially fiction and poetry.
It was incredibly hard to put down Girls Write Now’s Breaking Through anthology, not only because the stories were so captivating but because it was truly a soul-searching reading experience. I feel more motivated now to write and speak fearlessly, and I guarantee anyone who picks this up will feel the same. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to read this and I’m looking forward to the anthologies in years to come.
Lauren Stern (Managing Editor) As the Managing Editor, Lauren Stern is responsible for curating Pop-Break.com’s content. This includes managing the editorial staff, coordinating the content calendar, and assigning publishing dates and deadlines. She graduated Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism and Philosophy. She spends her free time searching for the best gluten-free food in the Tri-State area, playing with her dogs, and reading an insane amount of books. She tweets constantly about pop culture and social issues and hopes you follow her musings @laurenpstern.