"No need to hurry. No need to sparkle. No need to be anyone but oneself.” – Virginia Woolf
SASCHA BROWN RICE, President & Founder
SASCHA BROWN RICE is an Emmy-nominated filmmaker, entertainment executive, public speaker, teacher, and the granddaughter of California's former Governor Pat Brown. In her role at Eastman Kodak, as the Global Marketing Director for motion picture, she advanced the mission of real film with passion, creativity, and innovative collaborations. Her feature films CALIFORNIA STATE OF MIND: The Legacy of Pat Brown and MANGO KISS enjoyed national broadcast, screened internationally, and garnered multiple honors. Rice co-founded the mentoring and writing workshop program, W.O.W. International, and has led workshops, offered consulting, and mentored writers of all ages. Recently she executive produced a Women's Film Challenge and AUDFEST, the Audience Awards' inaugural film festival. Additionally Ms. Rice serves on the Board of Advisors of the non-partisan Pat Brown Institute and has appeared on television, radio programs, and her writing has been published online.
Mentors & Teaching Assistants
BELLA PAYNE is a rising star in the music world and 2013 marks the debut of DIE FOR LOVE, her inspirational pop/art rock album. Bella’s fresh musical style is inspired by an eclectic range of artists including Adele, Miles Davis, Mozart, and Edith Piaf. Many of W.O.W.’s writer’s know Bella as a music teacher and sources say she has been spotted around town with Pee Wee the Chihuahua. Before her musical career Bella cultivated her work ethic as a gymnast. After a year of dogged daily determination, she mastered a flip! Bella has a terrific sense of humor, so it isn’t surprising that one of her favorite books is ME TALK PRETTY ONE DAY by David Sedaris. Bella hails from Jacksonville, Florida where she taught herself music on a guitar that her boyfriend loaned her. Since her mother worked two minimum-wage jobs just to put food on the table, music lessons and instruments were out of the question. Finally her mother bought Bella a cheap Casio keyboard and Bella taught herself classics like Mozart. She is a graduate of the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts which was recently named the No. 1 high school music program in the U.S. and was given a Grammy by the Grammy Foundation.
JULIA ROCHA grew up in Los Angeles, attending Polytechnic School where she was the founder of the Feminist Education Club as well as the Cultural Perspectives literary magazine. She is now attending Barnard College of Columbia University in New York City, studying English and Social Science. With a passion for education justice, and art as a form of personal exploration and political action, Julia is working on a Media Literacy curriculum of interactive zines. Julia started writing when she began to keep a daily journal at age 14- a practice that opened her eyes to the transformative powers of writing. Julia is also passionate about music and visual art and is constantly thinking about how she can use art and art education as a tool of social change (her dream is to become an artist/community organizer). Julia is an experienced tutor and teaching assistant as well as an adored babysitter. Julia spends her free time riding her bike around LA, reading a lot, writing, playing bass, and making zines about issues in her community.
SAMI CAVESTANI, a Los Angeles native, attended Immaculate Heart High School where she was the president of her class. She is a veteren Writing Workshop teaching assistant, adored babysitter, theater junkie, and has a passion for Shakespeare (you may catch her wearing her favorite Shakespeare socks!). She loves movies and writing as a form of self-expression. She hopes to write and illustrate children’s books someday. She just finished her first year as an undergraduate at New York University. What many people don't know is that her favorite food is grilled cheese with tomato soup and she loves anything that is Chai flavored. Her favorite book is John Steinbeck’s East of Eden; although she is a big Harry Potter fan. She is currently an intern at Publisher’s Weekly in New York City. She spends most of her free time at coffee shops where you can find her reading or doodling.
“Sascha and Marnie´s kids' workshops are really fun and engaging. I love that the kids work really hard, but the kids don´t mind because they are truly engaged. Sascha and Marnie´s experience is like having a big treasure chest full of surprises; they offer the right tools for the most rewarding writing experience. Kids jump without hesitation into depths that they would never imagine they could. They discover so much: places, feelings, colors and so many things. These workshops are truly amazing and a great opportunity for every kid.”
--Pati, Mother & School Librarian