As we enter August in this lightning-quick summer, I am inspired to offer one last mini-camp that I've been very eager to do: a supportive, nurturing, small-group experience that integrates creative writing instruction and personal reflection for girls aged 11-16. By the session's end, I will have guided my students through all stages of the process of writing a meaningful personal narrative about an important event or time in their lives. The tangible end result will be a thoughtful personal essay that can be preserved for the future as a "snapshot" of a girl at a rich and complex time in her life.
My own creative writing was the initial inspiration for creating this mini-camp. Reading through some of my short stories and essays recently, I was struck by the extent to which my early-to-mid adolescent experiences appear in my work. And it made me wish that I'd actually written more about those experiences while they were happening. While I can't turn back the clock to do that, I can provide an opportunity for teenage girls today to craft stories about who they are, and about the important events that shape their emerging senses of identity.
Much is written, from both educational and psychological perspetives, about the importance of the ever-evolving life stories we create about ourselves, and how this process really takes off in adolescence. My hope is that, in this camp, girls will not only write a piece to keep forever, but that they may also use the writing process itself as a way to make sense and meaning of the complex (and sometimes puzzling) experience of being teenagers.
On a personal note, I feel so fortunate that my experiences as a writer, professional tutor/teacher, and clinical social worker can converge so well in this camp, I can't wait to guide my students through the processes of writing, reflecting, and giving support and feedback to their peers!
And now, the details: There will be a maximum of four students in this mini-camp. It will meet for four 75-minute sessions on Thursdays at 5pm and Saturdays at 3pm on the following dates: August 13 and 15, and August 20 and 22. The cost is $60 for the entire camp, due at time of registration. Sessions will be held at the Evanston Public Library (room to be announced).
And, a little bit about me: I am a licensed elementary-grade teacher and professional tutor with middle school endorsements in language arts, mathematics, and social studies. I am also a licensed clinical social worker, award-winning writer, produced playwright, and proud Evanston mama!