girls write now 2
STORIES FROM THE COMMUNITY
Mona would want us to remember her talent, kindness, and ability to bring joy to others. We hope members of the Girls Write Now community will share memories of Mona, and that those who cared about her will be comforted by this in the days ahead.
"Mona and I had known each other before Girls Write Now (GWN) because we lived in the same building, but GWN changed our friendship from polite smiles in the elevator to deep conversations in the aisles of Barnes & Noble, using creative writing to provide some language for the unspeakable. Mona was one of the creative people I’ve ever met; she created her own ‘world’ as a kid in a cardboard box she constructed and then wrote stories about, she even made up her own tax system!
I know Mona and I were not unique in this way, GWN does this for all the mentees/mentors in the program. Girls Write Now was a sacred place for us to dare to dig deep in us and find our voice, despite our fear of what would surface. Each workshop was crafted so carefully to create a supportive community. I remember the palpable feeling of the packed room attentive to one brave soul reading her story. The bravery our mentors modeled as they shared their stories and welcomed ours was critical in helping us envision our own future.
Over the years Mona and I both attempted to find a similar creative supportive community in our own ways. Mona was an active choir singer and never stopped writing. When I was in college in 2011, I was the first recipient of Mass NOW’s feminist in action grant, and at the Feminist Affair gala I shared my story of how GWN helped show me the power of feminist mentoring communities and Jaclyn Friedman the MC cheered from the sidelines.
In solidarity, and in memory of Mona,
— Sasha Alessandra Goodfriend, Girls Write Now Mentee Alumna, Class of 2009
"When I think of Mona, I think first of her smile — bright and warm; sincere, yet reserved. It was one of those contagious smiles, usually affecting Andrea first and then whoever else was nearby. And, of course, when I think of Mona, I think of her and Andrea together — Mona standing a bit taller than Andrea, their heads turned towards each other to share a laugh, an inside joke, a knowing glance. Like Mona herself, her writing was mature, genuine, profound — more so the more time you spent with it, a line or two leaving a lasting impression of reflection or insight.
I am so saddened by the loss of Mona, but I will do as Andrea encourages — I will remember her smile and the time we shared at Girls Write Now.
— Meghan McNamara, former Girls Write Now Program Director