2019 Youth Writing Academy Recap

Our youngest writers immersed themselves in storytelling this week. Whether they were creating stories from “snowballs,” crime puzzles, tic-tac-toe games, mystery puzzles, or their own imaginations, they worked to use specific and descriptive words, dialogue, and sequence phrases to tell an engaging story. To further emphasize the order and plot, the students were challenged to transform their written story into a comic, using only the images and dialogue. They practiced opinion writing by writing letters to other young authors and suggesting fun summer activities. Using markers and colored pencils, they created blackout poems from the pages of popular young adolescent books. Sadly, they were not able to complete to their satisfaction all of the writing pieces they started. We hope they find time this summer to finish the story of Ant Man and the giant foot and finally solve the mystery of empty cookie jar.  PHOTO GALLERY

The 2019 middle grades Youth Writing Academy participants had a wonderful time exploring different genres of writing and building friendships along the way. On Monday, the students engaged in community building activities and memoir/nonfiction writing. Tuesday’s lessons introduced students to fanfiction and game design writing. A few students created games, instructions, and persuasive paragraphs from scratch, while others wrote narratives about their favorite games brought to life and/or their favorite fictional universes. Students journeyed to fantasy worlds on Wednesday, and they also had opportunities to experiment with poetry. Thursday took a theatrical turn as guest speaker Scott Smoot engaged students with improvisational acting activities designed to facilitate character development. Students also got to explore comic writing, and some experimented with drawing and writing their own panels. Others chose to write poems with two voices and drama skits. The week ended with students expanding on and sharing their writing creations. Instructors Holly Maddox and Margaret Robbins were truly impressed with the growth the students showed during the week.  PHOTO GALLERY

At the high school level, students were given the week to explore their own writing goals, using the week’s lessons on character development, plot, setting, and dialogue. Some applied these ideas to their existing stories, while others crafted new stories. Students shared their amazing work throughout the week: fairy tales, dystopias, memoirs, and even some philosophy!  PHOTO GALLERY


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