WNY Young Writers' Studio

November 2012 Newsletter

Let's Get Organized!

Over the years, I've discovered that most writers typically enjoy the process of generating ideas, but when it comes time to execute them, the work of being of writer tends to become a bit more burdensome. This is where new writers will often stall. Without support, some will even abandon their pieces in order to maintain the excitement that brainstorming generates and avoid the discomfort of drafting.

Studio mentors have helped me realize that focusing on organization can help young writers like these progress. Having a plan lowers levels of anxiety that are common at the start of the process and helps them move from one point in the text to another without becoming victims of writer's block. This helps them persevere.

During our September and October sessions, writers began testing a variety of strategies intended to help them organize their first drafts of the season. Many closely read, analyzed, and mapped various pieces of mentor text so that they could "write like" the well known authors that they hoped to emulate. Others began experimenting with story boards, which helped them order, sketch out, re-order, and begin adding detail to the most crucial parts of their stories. Our work with this element of craft will continue in our elementary program when we meet this weekend to transform our stories into puppet show scripts. Please remember to bring your puppets!

Secondary level writers and mentors will be working with Elyse Cinquino to draft an article about Studio that she would like to submit to NeXt. As you begin preparing yourself for this project, please consider the questions below. Elyse drafted them ahead of time and asked that I share with you. Thinking about your responses now will help you frame quality answers when she asks you these questions in person. A photographer will be on hand during our afternoon session to take group photos of everyone. I'm excited to see what transpires from your efforts! Thank you for thinking of us, Elyse. We're honored to be your subjects!

Preparing for Your NeXt Interview

NeXt Correspondent and Studio Fellow Elyse Cinquino Invites You to Think About the Following:

Questions for Middle School/ High School Writers

How many years have you been a part of Studio?

What is your favorite part of Studio?

What is the one thing that everyone has in common in Studio?

What do you do at Studio?

What is Peer Review? Do you find it valuable? Why or why not?

What are you learning at Studio?

Why is Studio different than going to school?

Questions for Studio Mentors

How long have you been a mentor?

Do you like being a mentor? Why or why not?

What is your favorite part of being a mentor?

Why did you decide to become a mentor?

What are you learning in the process of being a mentor?

Plan to Write With Us on November 10th

November's session will be devoted to the study of perseverance as a Disposition of Practice, organization and voice as elements of writer's craft, and narrative script writing as a genre.

Writers should plan to bring any drafts that they have been working on at home, their writing folders, and their notebooks.

Elementary writers will be complete their "I Want to Ask" write-like poems as well as their puppet show scripts. Secondary writers will be exploring sophisticated strategies for cultivating voice in whatever genre they are pursuing.

If you cannot attend our November 10th session, please let Angela know by contacting her at 716-418-3730 or via email at stockmanangela@gmail.com. Remember, our dates are always available on the web: http://www.wnyyws.org/registration/?ee=25