Ten Girls to Watch

Charity Shumway's 5 Things I'd Tell the Teen Me

Our guest today: Charity Shumway Why we love her: Her witty and insightful narrative is addicting!

Her debut: Ten Girls To Watch

The scoop: Like so many other recent graduates, Dawn West is trying to make her way in New York City. She’s got an ex-boyfriend she can’t quite stop seeing, a roommate who views rent checks and basic hygiene as optional, and a writing career that’s gotten as far as penning an online lawn care advice column.

So when Dawn lands a job tracking down the past winners of Charm magazine’s “Ten Girls to Watch” contest, she’s thrilled. After all, she’s being paid to interview hundreds of fascinating women: once outstanding college students, they have gone on to become mayors, opera singers, and air force pilots. As Dawn gets to know their life stories, she’ll discover that success, love, and friendship can be found in the most unexpected of places. Most importantly, she’ll learn that while those who came before us can be role models, ultimately, we each have to create our own happy ending.

Our thoughts: A dazzling debut! Seriously loved this one and we think you will too.

Giveaway: FIVE copies!  Leave a comment and you'll be entered to win!  We'll choose the winners on Sunday, October 7th after 6pm PST.  Good luck!

Fun Fact: Charity has a green thumb and runs a super cute site called Spade & Spatula!

Where you can read more about Charity: her website, Facebook and Twitter.


 1. Effort is not embarrassing. As a teenager, I had this idea that trying was deeply uncool, and so there were plenty of things I would have enjoyed or that would have been good for me (say, wearing eyeshadow, taking the time to revise papers, or talking to boys...ever) that I simply cut myself off from. I’d tell teenage me that it’s worth the risk to put yourself out there every now and again.

2. Your journals are priceless. I wrote in a journal every night from 7th grade through my senior year of college. Those journals are hilarious and grimace-inducing and touching. I’d just like to say to teen me: thank you. Grown up me is grateful you took the time to write all that down.

3. Figure out a way to get out of the country. I didn’t travel anywhere till after college, and wow, the world is a wonderful place. I’d give teen me pamphlets for study abroad, get her a weekend job and an account where she can stash the cash, and get her on a plane.

4. Be nicer to your sister. I’m five years older than my younger sister, and now she’s one of my best friends in the world. But when I was a teenager, I pretty much ignored her or scorned her. She didn’t exactly have it easy in our family, and I wish I could go back and make teen me pay attention.

5. Ditch the barrettes. Just sayin.

Thanks Charity! xoxo, L&L