The Okanagan School of the Arts, Shatford Centre will be hosting a variety of entertaining and creative Saturday morning workshops for youth writers, grades 8 to 12, during the 2017 winter and spring months. The workshop dates are February 18 and 25, March 11, and April 22 and 29, from 10 am to 1 pm for each session. Each workshop will be self-contained, so students can attend the dates that work for them. The activities will be fun and creative, and will help young writers explore new ways to express themselves. Students can choose to work individually, in pairs or in small groups. The cost will be $25 per session, with some bursaries available if needed. Snacks and beverages will be included. There is also a possibility, dependent on youth interest, to offer an additional 1 1/2 hours (1:30 to 3:00 pm) for each session, starting in March, for youth writers who would like some personalized mentoring for their personal writing projects.
The STEPS: Creative Writing for Youth workshops have been inspired by local youth writers who have attended the annual July BC Youth Writers’ Camp in Penticton, as well as other youth who love to write. They have expressed a wish for additional creative writing activities throughout the year, and the Shatford Centre has offered to host these events.
The acronym “STEPS” stands for the type of activities offered at each workshop:
S: Stretches (warm-ups): These are 15 to 20 minute inspirational creative writing activities to awaken the writing muse. Sessions may include activities such as limerick writing, stream-of-consciousness writing, parody poems, jingle writing, rants, word games, and micro-fiction.
T: Tools & Techniques (training/learning): These 40 minute sessions will include such learning activities as storyboard/map creation, 3D character sketching, heroes and villains, comedy techniques, genre writing, or dynamic dialogue. (Followed by a 10 minute brain break)
E: Exploration & Experimentation: In these 40 minute sessions, youth writers will use the Tools & Techniques they’ve just learned about to create written pieces that use the new skills. This could include activities such as invented word poems, walk-in-my-shoes stories, flash fiction, design your own app (on paper), writing with masks, and more. (Followed by a 10 minute brain break)
P: Project: This 60 minute session will allow students to put into more practice the learning they’ve done previously during the lesson. They can continue with their Exploration & Experimentation project; choose another project (examples: group writing of a one-act play; utopia/dystopia in which they create and draw a main character, map a new world, and create rules for a new society; creative writing using random prompts; creation of a group newsletter; using templates to start a graphic novel or comic strip; or creating and performing a piece of spoken word poetry); or they can bring along a personal project to work on.
S: Support: Starting with the March 11 session, if students are interested, there will be a 1/2 hour brown bag lunch time, followed by a 1 1/2 hour support session in which students can receive some personalized mentoring. Students will be encouraged to bring along their own projects, or can continue working on projects from the earlier part of the workshop. For students who stay for the Support session, the cost of the workshop will be $35 instead of $25.
Students should bring their own pencils/pens and a notebook or binder; they can also bring their laptops and/or other digital tools if they wish. Illustration materials (drawing paper, pencil crayons, etc.) will be provided. Pre-registration is recommended.