The Writers Studio’s successful workshop model, which teaches adults to write fiction and poetry by reading, studying, and then “trying on” the techniques of great writers, turns out to be an ideal way to teach teenagers who want to develop their writing skills and self-expression. It is also extremely effective for students with dyslexia and other language-based learning challenges. We have designed workshops geared specifically for the needs and passions of school-aged young people, with input from educators and developmental specialists.
We offer free Writers Studio KW after-school fiction and poetry workshops in Brooklyn for high school students living in the borough. We also offer an intensive summer writing camp, both free of charge.
Students study techniques used by some of the best contemporary writers — including Junot Diaz, Brian Turner, Cate Marvin, Niccolo Ammaniti, Tyehimba Jess, Susan Straight, Colson Whitehead, Jamaica Kincaid, Toni Cade Bambera, Sandra Cisneros, Major Jackson, Elizabeth Alexander, Nam Le, Jennifer Egan and many more — addressing subjects pertinent to teenagers. The beauty of the practical, hands-on exercises is that they get high-school students excited about reading new literature and finding their own voice. Discussion centers on the craft that goes into making a successful story work. Students then write and share short creative pieces based on the readings and discussion, and offer each other feedback. One of the most exciting parts of the term comes toward the end, when the class works together to create a magazine of the work that they produced. Our focus is always on creating strong narrative voices and offering constructive critique. In these ways, the workshop builds students’ reading, writing, social and analytical skills. Students also form friendships, building a community of young writers who contribute to the rich cultural life of Brooklyn.
The workshops are carefully designed to match the learning styles and build the confidence of students with dyslexia and other language-based learning challenges. KW students will encounter one-on-one or small-group settings, clear modeling of expectations, constructive feedback both from classmates and the teacher, and positive reinforcement. Working together in a relaxed group setting that builds a close teacher-student relationship and trust among peers, students learn how to write pieces of high artistic merit. We also partner with the nonprofit organization Dyslexic Advantage to sponsor the annual Karina Eide Young Writers Awards to encourage and reward all forms of creative writing in dyslexic students age seven to 17.
The KW program was founded in 2009 and is taught by co-founder and project director Rebecca Gee, who has extensive training in The Writers Studio method, in teaching creative writing to this age group, and in working with students who have dyslexia and other language-based learning challenges. The free after-school workshops meet at a community center in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. The KW Summer Writing Camp meets weekday afternoons the last three weeks of July.
KW workshops are always free to high school students living in Brooklyn. They are made possible by the generous support of The Casement Fund, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the Brooklyn Arts Council, as well as contributions from individual donors and our community partners.
The Writers Studio KW is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a nonprofit arts service organization. Contributions on behalf of The Writers Studio KW are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.
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