Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Welcome to the Young Writers' Corner!

Adele Steiner is a workshop leader for younger writers at The Writer's Center. She will be leading two workshops this fall, Young Writer's Circle and Artscape News. More information can be found in the fall course guide. Here she is talking about her summer workshop (a sampling of student work is included below).

One part Glen Echo Park and its lovely natural surroundings combined with two parts imagination equals magic for creative writing! That’s exactly what we had this summer in my Natural Magical Writing Workshop for 8-11 year olds.

Students kept journals on nature walks, a sight seeing tour of the park, a visit to the on-sight photo gallery of historical circus prints, an interview with a local artist, and even a ride on the historical Dentzel Carousel. The experiences provided words, and my students’ imaginations and play with those words resulted in a lovely collection of chapter books, short stories, and poems. Fascinating, too, was how each experience seemed to inspire writing in a different genre. The final work, however, was magical, suspenseful, sometimes a bit scary, funny on occasion, and often beautiful too.

This latest installment of the Young Writer’s Corner is a sampling of my students’ writing, so many thanks to them for their excellent work; and of course, many thanks to parents and The Writer’s Center for an opportunity to showcase their work. So please enjoy!



(Chapter 1)

Down by a small creek that sparkled like jewels, there lived a young girl with a silky soft complexion, and light red hair that flowed like the creek where she had built her home so many years ago. Her voice was so soft and sweet that it sounded like honey. Some people with too many troubles to count would come down and listen to her magical voice.

The town’s people called her Zoe, which means “life” in greek. Every day, Zoe would wade into the river and enjoy the gift that God had laid out for her.

To the average human’s eye, she seemed perfectly happy. But Zoe was far from perfect or happy. She had a deep, dark secret that haunted her and would haunt her until the end of time itself.

Now I know what you’re thinking, and the answer is, “No.” I will not tell you what the secret is. What kind of author or storyteller would I be if I told you? Yup—a lousy one! So, no, not even a hint. If you wish to find out, you must travel back in time with me—to about 500 years ago….


In a World that is Upside Down

In a world that is upside down,
people walk on the ceiling,
trees have roots in the sky,
water fountains are like water falls,
and sprinklers are like rain.

In a world that is upside down,
people swim on the roof,
yurts are like upside down cupcakes,
and lamplights are sticks with balls on the ends.

In a world that is upside down,
traffic cones are ice cream cones,
swings are in the sky,
flowers are planted in the sky,
and slides go up!


Word Play

The moon sea is magical and wild.
It always has a mystery at night time,
and the secret is light


Katie’s Rainbow

(Chapter One)

Katie Fisher stared out the window at the dismal day outside--rain, rain, rain. It just had to stop raining! It just had to. Katie was supposed to go with her dad on their annual picnic! Katie willed the rain to stop one more time, then continued to read her book, Password to My World. “I bet Seana Riley never has to worry about rain ruining her picnic,” Katie muttered. “This is sooo annoying!”

Katie listened to the rain outside her window for quite a while, until finally, finally, the pitter patter of the rain slowed and stopped. But, seeing as Katie was such an avid reader, she didn’t notice this until about half an hour later. “Dad! Dad! Dad! Dad! It stopped raining! We can go on our picnic now!” Katie ran downstairs when she realized that the sun had come out.

Katie’s father was a tall, thin man with a diamond-shaped face who loved his four children, Carrie, Katie, Sam, and Jack. He was a carpenter with a workshop in the Fisher’s basement.

Moments after Katie had informed her father, the father and daughter were on their way up the hill to their favorite picnic spot. “Wow, look at the gorgeous rainbow!” said Mr. Fisher. Katie, fork midway to her mouth, looked up and saw the rainbow her father was talking about. “Wow! That’s really … beautiful!” she breathed. “That’s the power of light for you,” Mr. Fisher said.

Katie couldn’t stop looking at that rainbow all through the picnic. “I should really learn what a rainbow is…,” Katie thought to herself. Katie turned back to her sandwich, and her brain began to whir. There was something special about that rainbow, all rainbows, and Katie Fisher could feel it.

At home, Katie slid into the computer seat. “Internet…Google…rainbows…” she muttered the steps as she typed and clicked. “Aha, About rainbows.com.” Katie sat back and began to read. When she finished, she found herself with a four-page long report. “Time to show dad,” Katie sat he father down in the living room and told him she had typed up all of this information about rainbows. She opened her mouth and began to read….


Looking Upside Down

Looking at stuff upside down
is sooo annoying. It makes me frown
because looking at stuff upside down
makes my head feel funny.
It makes my eyes feel like they’ll fall out,
and my ears feel like they’re full of honey.
I’d rather be standing straight.
I wish I were late.
I wish I went to the zoo
or had the flu.
Then I wouldn’t have to stand upside down.
I don’t like it—that’s why I frown.


Word Play

I free the wild life.
I touch the sea full of rain.
I love the hot, magic night,
the true love of secrets.


1 comment:

Kelley said...

Thanks for sharing your young writers work.