Program offers virtual writing class for teens


HUNTINGBURG — Teenagers will have the chance to write about current happenings, their past, what they see coming in their future and how all that affects them now in a upcoming virtual workshop.

The free, six-week workshop, called “Nevertheless, Live: Writing Our Living Through Poems and Stories,” will start Tuesday, June 23.

“This program will give teens the opportunity to explore creative writing and produce a body of work during six weeks of the summer,” said Kyla Cox Deckard, director of communications for Indiana University’s Center for Rural Engagement. “They will also have the chance to collaborate with award-winning writers in smaller mentoring sessions and strengthen their skills with the written word as they prepare for the scholarly demands of high school and college.”

The Center for Rural Engagement, IU’s Department of English Creative Writing Program and the Huntingburg Public Library are hosting the program. It is part of rural arts series, in which Huntingburg is included.

Participants in the workshop will document their own life experiences and perspectives, and imagine their future life through poems, drawings, fiction writings and nonfiction writings. The idea is to foster and encourage specificity, inclusivity and collaboration in participants’ writing.

“This will be a great chance for teens to explore their imaginative life and creativity through writing,” said workshop leader Catherine Bowman, provost professor in IU’s creative writing program. “There won’t be any tests or required homework, though participants will be learning college skills and writing and reading skills while having fun.”

The workshop will be run each week by two instructors, with the assistance of a rotating group of experienced writers. Participants will work through readings, exercises, experiments and writing prompts. Each participant will have the opportunity to work in small mentor groups on Mondays and Wednesdays.

“During this time when many of us are more isolated from our social circles because of the pandemic,” Deckard said, “these sessions will offer teens the chance to engage with other teen writers and instructors in a structured and creative virtual environment.”

The workshops will be held from 1 to 2:30 p.m. on six Tuesdays, starting June 23. Students must register in advance here to receive the Zoom link for the workshops. Registrations will be taken until the start of the workshop.

More information about the workshop can be found under the events section on the Center for Rural Engagement’s website. Visit it here.

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