Writing Workshop

Kelly Cunnane

Workshop description

How do I make a story of my own? What's it like to be an author? Find out. Discover. Learn, hands-on.

  • Experience the language and daily habits of West or East African culture through writing.
  • Through energizing writing activities, convey your culture. Put together in a unique "quilt" of My Culture, Your Culture, a creative nonfiction piece for Young Authors' Tea presentation or a collection**

Writing is fun! I bring in curious pieces from Africa...we might write a simple description of what we see...then we write what we learn it is...and then urged by a timed writing prompt, we respond in writing about something in our own culture, about our own selves.

This energized raw writing produces some of the freshest voices. We work together to know what is worth keeping and how best to arrange it, what we want to edit out or "clean up": the Re-Vision process. We read our pieces in pairs and groups, offering kind and honest constructive feedback. We write the final piece to share, either in a collection or during a reading presentation. Who knows, we might send them along to the culture we've just learned about... and who knows, they just might write back.

To learn motivated by curiosity is the pathway to lifelong learning. To learn young that other cultures are intriguingly different but too, not so different as well, is to understand the world is a place of possible adventure and friendship, a place to lend a helping hand or a welcoming smile. Through the arts the world cultural bridges are created.

Juxtaposing spontaneously written observations about one's own culture and another gives young writers insight to both the the art of writing, and the universality of human beings all over the world.

Time estimate:
Basic: 2 hours, Extended: 6 hours

A. Basic Writing Workshop
Artifact exploration & writing (45 min. minimum)
Writing activities about Your Culture (45 min. minimum)

B. Basic Writing Workshop with Completed Piece
Patch-working the pieces (45 minimum)

C. Full Writing Workshop
Presenting & editing process (1 hr.)

D. Full Writing Workshop with Public Reading
Final presentation practice or book collection process (45 minutes) Date set, invitations, and presentation (I hour+)

E. Writing Workshop Additions

  1. Explore the writing process and the publishing world through hands-on author-related materials (book galleys/rejection letters/contract agreements/editorial demands)
  2. Young Authors' Tea or Collection: Public presentation of writings, pulled together in a collection or read to an audience. Set a date, create invitations, practice presenting, and we're ready for an audience... Or a copy of each piece in a colorful binder and set in a prominent place of the school and local library!

Who is this workshop best suited for?

Grades 7 through 12

Quoted responses from workshop participants »
Workshop fee guidelines »
"Cheka, cheka, cheka," he laughs like a little bird.

Kelly Cunnane's Creative Cultural Workshops for Kids & Communities ~ www.kellycunnaneauthor.com

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