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, May 9, 2011

Writing Stories with Eighth Graders (WSEG)

I offered a free Writopia workshop entitled Writing Games at the Mt. Kisco Library this weekend. I had a BLAST! I wasn't expecting a huge turn-out on such a beautiful day, but I had my figurative bag of tricks with me. I was pleased when two eighth graders showed up: Eden G. from Armonk and Aron L. from Yorktown. A girl who writes all of the time, and a boy who only writes when he has to. For school. You know I liked that challenge!

Now, when I just have one or two kids and we're playing writing games, that means I get to play too. 

Yee-freakin'-ha! Yes, a Writopia teacher is a published author who is half camp counselor (fun and funny, warm and engaging) and half savvy editor/teacher (astute, insightful, serious, open, sensitive). In fact, we are always looking for more teachers! If you know of anybody who loves kids and is a published fiction author in Westchester, let me know!

But I digress. We wrote three stories together in 75 minutes. We all started with the same prompt: he jumped down from the tree and wrote for 5 minutes, establishing a main character and a conflict, then  passing it on to the next person in our "round table", every 5 minutes, pushing the story forward. I also made sure that we ENDED the stories we STARTED. I was in heaven, because all three turned out to be pretty science-fiction -y, which I love to read but don't write myself much. My job with them was to give "lessons" on story structure along the way, indeed inserting them myself when need be. FUN!

And here's the thing: we were so excited by our three stories in seventyfive minutes, that I promised to post them all on my blog! So NOW I must do that . . . in three separate blog posts . . . coming up! They will be entitled WSEG Story 1, 2, and 3.

Why aren't you working on your WIP, you may well ask. Well. One WIP is floating out there with my editor. I don't have a contract yet, so my fingers are crossed VERY tightly. (Will you cross yours too?) I have another WIP that I have to get back to. I will! I promise. But first this . . .
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