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Young Writers Camp Newsletter

July 30, 2012


YWC campers enjoyed an enriching first week filled with a variety of engaging writing experiences. We know that you have already heard about many of the activities in your own childs classroom. We thought that you might also enjoy reading about the events happening throughout camp. This newsletter is filled with a few highlights from each group. Dont forget that you are all invited to final day classroom festivities on Friday, August 3rd, from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Camp will conclude immediately following classroom visits at 10:30 that morning. You are also invited to our sharing celebration open mic reading at Barnes and Noble in Mira Mesa, where all campers will be invited to share their favorite piece of writing with friends and family. Please join us there on August 5th at 3:00
Valentyna Banner and Abby Robles Madison and Kyla After just one week, we realize how fortunate we are to have an energetic group of talented writers at this summers Young Writers Camp. We are incredibly impressed with the caliber of work shown thus far. From memoirs, to scar stories, to in-depth work with character development, to observational writing, to using the mentor texts Zorgamazoo and Knots in My Yo-yo String, our stamina and confidence as writers is growing. Sathiya is finding inspiration; James is enjoying writing and getting feedback from his peers; and Reese can tell that shes becoming a better writer. Jessica excitedly states, Mrs. Banner, Mrs. Robles, Kyla and Madison are fabulous teachers and mentors! We are looking forward to meeting published authors and to touring the UCSD campus. Cherie Firmery and Laura Smart Shannon, Michelle, and Michaela We are off to a fantastic start! So far our young writers have created pieces in a variety of genres including descriptive power writing, acrostic and cinquain poetry, and Native American creation stories. We have visited some of the installations in the Stuart Collection to inspire our writing. During the first week of camp, we viewed Tim Hawkinsons Bear, Alexis Smiths Snake Path, Terry Allens Trees, and Do Ho Suhs Fallen Star also known as the Tilted House. We were also fortunate to have a visit from famous poet, Frank Barone, who shared his work and wrote with the children. Next week we will spend the first two days in our writing response groups revising our pieces and getting them ready for the anthology. We will also visit the Geisel Library to see the Dr. Seuss exhibit which we hope will inspire our own book writing. On Thursday, we will celebrate our hard work with a special trip to Jamba Juice for a fruit smoothie. Please join us on Friday and get a taste of the amazing work your camper has produced during our two weeks at YWC. We are having a blast! April Dorman and Ann Zivotsky Peter and Jasmarie At this moment, 24 campers are rushing to the center of the room to grab crumpled up sticky notes, each containing a theme, mood, and purpose for a poem they are about to write. The carpet has become a brightly colored field of ideas. Campers have enjoyed activities on developing strong characters, writing better descriptions, fleshing out scenes, and revising leads to improve their stories. These ideas for lessons came directly from our campers who, on the first day of camp, shared what they wanted to work on as young writers. Overwhelmingly, they spoke of writing stronger short stories. We closed out week one as young adult novelist Stacey Goldblatt shared her writing process, and this week, well focus on using all weve learned to expand and improve our writing. Each piece that youll read in the Young Writers Camp anthology will have been written with a lot of sweat and smiles. Lesly Easson and PJ Jeffery Alexandra and Matthew The Golden Group has been busy describing their world. They have described themselves metaphorically and have used colors to describe their emotions. They visited the Trees, the Fallen Star (tilt!), the Snake Path, and the stone Bear. They wrote stories based on the illustrations and captions from Harris Burdick and learned about clipping pieces of stories to create a new piece of writing. Keeping with this theme, we headed to the bookstore and wrote found poetry. Friday, we enjoyed hearing from our guest speaker, Ernie McCray who inspired our campers. This week we will continue to work with verb revision, creative language, and character development. We will also introduce the idea of setting scenes when writing a story, and we will work with other groups to collaborate on a piece. In addition, we will continue with response groups as we get our pieces ready for the anthology and prepare for parent day on Friday.

San Diego Area Writing Project

Aja Booker and Barb Montfort Michela, Kira, and Erica We have a contemplative group this year at YWC. They take time to hear the questions weve askedpondering, thinking, wondering: Who or what were you raised by? What is the difference between a detail and a quality? What is the personality of joy, pain, worry? What do you wish for? Is that REALLY Pearl Jam? They think and consider. They write and revise. And slowly slowly slowly... they are sharing their work with each other. With each new chance to share, we are learning new and fascinating things. For example, Ezra decided to take a walk into his dark side and shared the personality of jealousy (I dont really have a dark side, he warned, but I thought Id try it.). Jack began the story of a quest and mysterious amulet (we all want to know more!). Will explores sci-fi and fantasy writing (and hes gaining new fans of the genre each day!), and Shivank gives us new things to consider with his interesting philosophical wonderings. Aja shared Kelley Norman Ellis poem Raised by to help us explore the idea of who we were raised by and how it impacts who we are today. Barb asked us to extend the metaphor when we used figurative language to describe something, and then we practiced writing personifications of emotionsfear, pain, happiness, trust. Michela took us to the Green Table where we made crayon rubbings and created found poetry. Kira helped us take a different perspective with our revision. Erica guided us in creating new and interesting characters in our writing. In the coming week, we are excited to continue to find our voices. We will delve into the world of the magic realism genre. We will explore social justice and our roles in our community. We will share and publish our writing, and we will most certainly continue to be fascinated by what we learn about our community of writers.

Stella Erkam and Jeni Cass Ariel and Becca Our incredible writers have had a great start to YWC! Last week we focused on seeing ourselves as writers and trying on different styles of writing. We have a plethora of awesome story beginnings, and it will be tough to choose just one piece for the anthology! We began by creating found poems for our notebook covers. Tuesday, we worked hard to generate ideas for our writing and formed our writing response groups. On Wednesday, we created poetry using mentor textsMs. Stella used the mentor text Hoops and Ms. Jeni shared Yesterday I had the Blues. On Thursday, Ms. Becca, one of our TAs, led us on a field trip around Divona Roy and Darren Samakosky campus, and we began short stories based on the Bear and Sun God sculpGenevieve and Amy tures. Our delightful guest speaker, Judy Leff, helped us connect our sense Would you be able to tell your story in six words or create a poem out of terms of smell to some forgotten memories. snatched from a university campus and Ms. Ariel began our Friday with an exciting lesson centered around the Tipooled together on a sheet of collegebetan singing bowl and showed us how ruled notebook paper? These are just to create writing pieces inspired by its two of the questions weve answered music. We ended our week with a spepositively this week in our group. cial visit from Travel + Leisure writer, Weve also delved into storytelling with Katrina Brown Hunt who introduced us to travel and review writing. memoir and sensory writing, worked with peers in writing response groups, This week we will work on revision explored UCSDs structural art, made strategies as we gear up for publishing metaphors with the purple balloon our pieces in the anthology and prepare man, poet Frank Barone, tried out our for sharing with our families during the rhythm with performance poets Ray, Katherine, and Maddie, and built char- parent program and at the Barnes and Noble reading on Sunday. acters as well as suspense with teen novelist Mitchell Sturhann. Our campers have bonded with each other and our staff: Amy, Darren, Divona, and Genevieve, and with our awesome room space, the Cross Cultural Center Library. Most notable are the willingness of our campers to participate in every activity, the accepting and encouraging community of writers theyve already built, and the amount of sustained writing time our teens crave. We relish the anticipation of this weeks activities, when students will have time to investigate new ideas in writing, revisit and revise previous works for publication, participate in cross-class collaboration as mentors to third and fourth graders, and prepare for both Authors Chair and Parent Day. We are excited about working with and further developing our writing in the upcoming week.

Upcoming YWC Activities


July 31 - Anthology cover contest submissions due by 9:00 a.m. August 1 - Anthology pieces due by 9:00 a.m. August 2 - Writing About Writing contest entries due by 12:00 p.m. August 3 - Families are invited to classroom celebrations and sharing from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Please dont forget about early pick-up. Camp ends at 10:30 a.m. on the final day. August 5 - Sharing celebration (open mic) and fundraiser event at Barnes and Noble in Mira Mesa from 3:00 4:30 p.m.