Myasia Fajardo, mentee
My name is Myasia Fajardo, and I’m currently a senior in high school. I live in Forest Hills, Queens, which is a (sometimes) painful hour from my downtown Manhattan high school on the train. I have been an author since the second grade, though then my work consisted of me adding in dialogue and stick-figures to my picture books. Since then, I’ve grown into working on my own realistic-fiction stories. I consider myself a writer because aside from scrolling through Tumblr and Polyvore and fake-shopping online, that’s all that I do on my free time. I’m always thinking of ideas and picking pieces of my own life to incorporate into my stories. I’ve never been published, but I will be one day!
Lauren Hesse, mentor
My name is Lauren Hesse and I live in Brooklyn, working as an Assistant Manager in Digital Marketing at Doubleday, an imprint of Penguin Random House. I consider myself a writer because I enjoy creating and sharing within writing and reading communities. I consider myself a media maker because my career allows me to use online media to share great books with readers.While I work in digital, my ultimate goal is to publish an essay collection in print. My writing is typically nonfiction and has been featured in FUSE magazine. Recently, I was a panelist at the Uptown Lit festival in Washington Heights, speaking on social media for writers. I also presented a “Digital Marketing For Authors” keynote to the Mystery Writers of America’s Mid-Atlantic.Aside from work and writing, I hope to run a half marathon and love spending time getting to know my city while training.
I've always liked people-watching on the train. Since joining Girls Write Now, I take the F-train a lot more now, and I get to see a wider variety of people. All the characters you'll read about in the piece are very, very loosely based off of people that I have seen on the train. Because sometimes I'll come across someone who is so striking or unusual that they immediately inspire a story on the spot, and it's not necessarily about them, but they just serve as a model or muse for a character for me. And since so much of this was taken from life and observations, I thought that an image-heavy web page would be the best digital platform for a story, since I would get to pick out very specific images that I've seen myself. Lastly, this piece is very representative of me and the things I liked. It was inspired by my hobby, it includes pictures, and I love pictures, and it has the diversity and variety that I strive to include in every story I write.