Her Words

Her Words is a writing and performance program for teen girls and gender nonconforming youth based in Morristown, New Jersey.


At Her Words (formerly Girls Surviving), teen girls and gender nonconforming youth write about issues that are relevant to their lives. They meet weekly at Morristown High School, in Morristown, NJ, to share experiences and write creatively. They craft narrative, poetry, and fiction as well as monologues and scenes for a play.

At the end of each academic year, the teens perform their work for family, friends, and community members. They also publish their writings in a book and perform readings of their work in the community and on Soundcloud

Because the program is free, fluid and varied, youth who might otherwise not have an opportunity to participate in such an extensive arts program discover their talents, learn new skills, and become more flexible with life’s expected demands. In essence, they learn to improvise, both on and off the stage. They hone their writing and performing skills and develop into leaders. 

Longtime members become paid interns in the summer program, responsible for leading exercises and group discussions. Girls who stay in the program year after year respond to the opportunities offered to them as well as the excitement and challenge of expressing themselves artistically in a relaxed and positive setting.

Summer Program 2020

Our Summer Program will be held from July 7 to August 13, 2020, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Zoom*. 

Visiting teaching artists will lead workshops in creative writing, arts, and performance. Together we will create work that elevates our voices and experiences. Our program will culminate with a published book and special performance of our work for family and community members on August 13.

Girls and gender nonconforming youth in grades 8-12 are welcome to join our program free of charge. The program is open to youth in Morristown, New Jersey, and surrounding areas.

Our summer program includes dynamic workshops on spoken word poetry, comics and visual storytelling, zinemaking and self-publishing, flash memoir and storytelling, social activism, and zentangle. Visiting teaching artists include Madeline CourtMay Lee-YangSummer PierreGlenda ReedAlyse Royal (Ally Are)Bella SimonMimi Topping, and Mariam Williams.

To register, please complete the online registration form, and we will contact you with additional information.

Questions? Please contact Ellen Papazian, program director, at (973) 270-6765 or hiherwords@gmail.com.

*Due to Covid-19, Her Words will run its program online this summer, but we will have opportunities for meetups in Morristown, NJ, using social-distancing guidelines.