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Poet Megumi Jindo on Performing Spoken Word, Helping Young Writers, and Participating in Girls Write Now

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Writing will always be there for you—like a person you trust—whom you can confide in

By Imanee Magee and Katie Song

The annual Girls Write Now Awards is October 18, and Zibby Mag had the honor of interviewing one of their mentees and presenters, Megumi Jindo.

Girls Write Now is a nonprofit organization seeking to empower young writers like Megumi by providing them with scholarships and publishing opportunities, job placements, and a community of mentors. Through their mentorship program, Girls Write Now helps correct long standing inequalities faced by many young adults.

A senior in high school, Megumi has performed at The Met and the 16th Annual Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk and will be presenting at this year’s annual Girls Write Now Awards. She has also appeared on the podcast Speaking in First Draft where she discusses the first drafts of her poems and the stories behind them.

In our recent interview, Megumi discusses her writing aspirations, favorite authors, and offers heartfelt advice to young women and writers. Keep reading for the full interview.

One of your goals is to become a best-selling author. What will your first book be about?

My first book will either be a poetry chapbook or a romance novel that weaves in inspiring life lessons. I want all of my books to be inspiring and to help people.

How has having a mentor helped shape your passion for writing?

Participating in Girls Write Now has allowed me to expand and transform my writing and meet other writers, like my mentor Madeline Wallace. I am honored to have a Girls Write Now mentor. Having a mentor has been a life-changing experience.

A mentor is a friend, an older sibling, a confidant, a compass. My mentor has helped me shape my writing in so many ways—she believes in me and the power of my writing. My mentor pushes me to believe in my edits, and my writing, and always reminds me that I have a choice—I don’t have to accept all her comments! The best thing about having a mentor is that she isn’t just a mentor to help me with writing, she helps me with life. Madeline has been a huge support to me, especially during this time when I’m still going through the ups and downs of being a teen.

I think it’s good to have someone you can look up to, someone you can shoulder your burdens with. I hope that if you haven’t found a mentor yet, that someday you will.

As an NYC-based poet, do you have any favorite poetry reading spots or events you’d recommend to fellow storytellers in your community?

My favorite poetry reading spot is definitely at the iconic Central Park, lying down on a blanket!

You’re not only a writer, but you perform your work as well. What’s been your favorite performance you’ve given so far?

Before Girls Write Now, I didn’t know that I could write and perform my work. I didn’t know that being a poet was a thing. I mean, I did, but I didn’t think young people could be writers—that I could be one. So being able to get to this point to answer this question from you—wow, thank you.

My favorite performance has to be the one that kicked off my spoken word career last spring, at Diane Von Furstenberg’s Studio. It was an unforgettable experience reciting my work in front of admirable, trailblazing women and having the chance to inspire the audience. I can’t wait for more moments like these!

Who are some of the writers, authors, or poets that have inspired your work the most?

I love this question! Lots of people and events inspire me to write, especially history leaders, those who stood up and tried to make change, and those who are in the middle of that, social events, artists, and my life. From the writing world, I would say Amanda Gorman, Jane Wong, Sarah J. Maas, Chloe Gong, John Green, and Kenji Miyazawa, along with many others who inspire my work.

What is one way you’d like to help young women (and writers) like yourself?

By writing! Through writing, I want to help young women and writers like myself. I want to show them that they aren’t alone in the emotions and tribulations that they go through— those are journeys to be experienced and happiness can be found. You deserve to be happy. I want to remind emerging writers that writing will always be there for you, like a person you trust, whom you can confide in. Always. Writing won’t judge you. Through writing, you can be yourself and take the time to reflect and heal.

As a writer, your voice becomes your most powerful weapon. Are there any topics that you feel particularly compelled to speak on?

Not only as a writer but as a teen, I have and will continue to speak on mental health, the power of youth and unity, global warming, equity, underprivileged communities, and other issues that are widely overlooked.


Megumi Jindo is a senior in high school. She loves writing, reading, listening to music, photography, art, and playing sports. She also loves songwriting and collecting new vocab to expand her writing style. She aims to become a best-selling author one day and wants to use her writing as a way to educate and help America be a better version of itself. Also, she loves sunrises, sunsets, astrology, psychology, and eating junk food!

Posted October 10, 2023