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Friday, June 21, 2013

At the Young Writers Institute, A Good Time Was Had by All!

I recently had the pleasure of poetry workshopping  with the Mt. Lebanon contingent of this summer's Young Writers Institute.  What a delightful experience!  I can honestly say that it has been quite a while since I witnessed such unbridled enthusiasm. For each workshop the students arrived eager and excited, their notebooks and pencils ever at the ready.  Their enthusiasm was infectious and made me hope that I could match their level of excitement.  The pencils flew, the students driven by the goofy outside-of-the-box writing requests I made of them.  Each one was eager to share, eager to do more, eager to create. 
For those of you unfamiliar with YWI, it is a University of Pittsburgh program for young people in grades 4-8 and 9-12 who like to write and who want to develop their craft in a community of writers.  The summer institute locations are the University of Pittsburgh (Cathedral of Learning), Mt. Lebanon, and Pine Richland.  The cost of the two week experience is $295 though scholarships are available. I encourage you to visit their website for more detailed information as well as videos of participants sharing their experiences. 
In my first group I want to thank Ryan, the sole male in a room full of delightful middle school young ladies, who did not hesitate to share any of his writing with all of us.
I also want to give a shout out to the young lady who coined the clever term for a collection of ogres as a 'roar.'
I want to pat on the back the other young lady who claimed her notebook was "exploding with write-citement".
And to the little girl who literally took my advice to get up and do jumping jacks as a way to combat writers' block, I hope it helped.
Thanks to all of you for a lovely morning, as well as for your enthusiasm. You made me proud to be a writer and hopeful for the future. 

Respectfully submitted by Andrea Perry

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