Léna is also a Regional Manager for Writopia Lab whose mission is to foster joy, literacy, and critical thinking in kids and teens from all backgrounds through creative writing.

"Well, the question is, what do you want to believe? Do you want to live in a world where things are possible, or in one where they aren't?" Cin, Edges.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Writopia Pioneers

It is early afternoon and I am sitting in the café at Borders Bookstore in Mt. Kisco, across from my second pioneer for Writopia out here in Northern Westchester.

This morning I met with an eleven-year-old girl at the beautiful library in Chappaqua - we sat in our own little room and worked on a story together using Google Docs, immersed in the process and learning about structure, character and motivation along the way.

The thirteen year old boy works differently, knowing what he wants to write, and not wanting me to interrupt his train of thought.

I find that I can talk about Writopia much more easily than I can talk about EDGES. We were invited to two barbecues with neighbors in Katonah this weekend, giving me opportunities to talk up the program. Whenever I talk about it, there is ample enthusiasm and desire. I admit that I naively thought we would have more enrollment by now, but what marketing have we done? This is a grass roots, word-of-mouth non-profit, and we've only been here for two weeks! I was nervous at first talking to the librarians in Chappaqua, but their faces lit up when I told them about the program and they asked for fliers. I need to do more of this: getting out there and talking to people, marketing something that I truly believe in, and mentioning that I have a book coming out in December is an added bonus!

I will ask someone here at BORDERS if Writopia can host an open mic night at the beginning of the school year, so that the few students I have can show off their work, and possible new recruits can as well.

It will be slow, building up students and a young writing community, but it will happen. If you build it, they will come!


  1. population density is much less out here away from nyc, lena! you're having great success already.

  2. You inspire me. I am interviewing for a teaching position tomm. 4 years out of the classroom and my heart yearns to re-enter. Had my first published piece, newspaper article no less but hey I already have a title for a childrens and fiction piece. North Carolina is the place I am from, Lions and tigers and bears oh my! No I fear for our wildlife as we are borrowing, rather taking their land unwittingly. Write on!

  3. Thanks so much for your support guys!

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