Monday, October 13, 2008

Creative Writing is Alive and Well - Even in Teenagers

For the past few Thursday nights, I've been taking a creative writing workshop at the Mercer County Public Library. The class is being taught by a man I've known most of my life, and I'm really enjoying the atmosphere of other writers.

Yesterday, was the first class of a Teen Writers Workshop he is started, to encourage younger people to write creatively. He feels some kids are stifled by the rules and regulations of classroom writing and thought this class might open up a whole new world for them. My daughter was one of the participants, and I was the female "chaperone" in the class (the teacher is male).

I was amazed at the kids who showed up for the class! We had a total of 8 children - there are more signed up, but the kids are on fall break, so many are on vacation. Of the 8 kids present, 4 were homeschooled - I thought that was wonderful! One young lady was in the 9th grade and had plans to go to Harvard University and study to become a forensic anthropologist - can you say Bones?

These young people were so impressive. At first it was difficult for them to open up, but the teacher has a way of speaking on their level, and before the end of the class, each child had read out loud what they had written during class. He has told these kids that each one should have a completed story by the end of the workshop (it lasts 8 weeks), and he plans to print them in a booklet so library patrons will be able to read them.

So, I learned yesterday not all children are absorbed with video games or television. Many of these children are already writing creatively at home, and they brought many plans and ideas to this wonderful class. As an old dog who has trouble learning new tricks, I was awed by the creative talent surrounding me yesterday. Creative writing is alive and well - even in teenagers!

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