Community Based Learning 2017

Though I did not get an official internship this semester, I still spent a lot of time out in the community. I definitely learned a lot through my experiences this semester so when the time comes for me to find one next year I will be able to apply my new knowledge.

Teen Lit Mob

 

This April I had the opportunity to attend and help out at the  Teen Lit Mob which took place at Fletcher Free Library, run by Lisa Buckton who does community/teen outreach there. I was able to help out a little bit by helping the authors find things, but for the most part I just participated in the events.

Addie attended and volunteered at Vermont’s first-ever teen literary festival, Teen Lit Mob, on Friday, April 7, 2017. In addition to attending Heather Demetrios’ workshop, Writing Your Guts Out: Letters to Heartbreak & Co.*, she acted as Heather’s author handler for the day. Addie also collectively attended Heather Demetrios’ keynote and Aaron Starmer’s endnote. Further, Addie met teens from across Vermont who share literary and writing zeal.   -Lisa Buckton

 

*Heather Demetrios, Fletcher Room

Writing Your Guts Out: Letters to Heartbreak & Co.

Ever written a letter you never sent? Ever wanted to write a letter to someone (dead or alive, real or imaginary) that pulls no punches–the kind of thing that says exactly how you feel, with no filters? In this workshop, we’ll look at how a letter can be a weapon, an act of resistance, or a blood-on-the-page confession. This is writing for the woke, with a heart on its sleeve.

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The Flynn

Though I unfortunately could not intern at the Flynn this semester due to the fact that they already had an intern there at the times I was available, however I did get to attend a job shadow with three students from St. Albans. We saw the Vermont Stage production of The Call which is a powerful politically charged story about a couple who is trying to decide whether they want to adopt a child from Africa, and then got a tour of the Flynn Space and got to see how the show was run.

New England Young Writers Conference

At the beginning of the year I applied to the New England Young Writers Conference with the story I wrote for my Fall Term Project. I did not really expect to get in because everyone I talked to about it told me that it was really prestigious. However, despite my doubts, I got in. I was nervous for the conference because I didn’t know anybody or what to expect. It was the first time I had been in a situation that involved me going in completely cold and having to get to know people without having a familiar face to fall back on, and honestly it really stressed me out. However, while the social aspect of the conference was anxiety provoking for me, I did learn some valuable lessons about writing, and figured out some different styles of writing that I want to explore. In our workshop group we spent a lot of time critiquing each others work too.  I feel like I learned how to focus on specific details when critiquing instead of just pointing out when I don’t like something or making solely general statements. Below is a slideshow of some of the things my workshop mates said about my favorite writing piece from the weekend(also below).

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Here is a sample of the writing I did at NEYWC:

I really enjoyed writing this piece because I had never really tried writing something like it before. I really loved writing it and I definitely would like to expand it more.

 

Prompt: Write instructions on how to do something utterly impossible…

How to Change the World Without Upsetting Anyone:

  1. Never state your opinion without mentioning that you respect everyone elses opinion first
  2. Never disagree with anyone
  3. Never argue
  4. Never defend your beliefs if they contradict somebody else’s
  5. Never defend your beliefs
  6. Don’t say anything that might offend somebody else
  7. Don’t frown
  8. Don’t say anything to contradict your opponent
  9. Don’t say “we have to ask ourselves” and then make a blanket statement about morality pertaining to one certain issue
  10. Don’t defend yourself when someone disagrees with you
  11.  Always agree with the person arguing with you
  12. Don’t like anything
  13. Don’t dislike anything
  14. Show the majority that you’re vulnerable so they feel like they can relate to you
  15. Don’t relate to the majority

CCYWC

I did CCYWC in 2016 as well, but it was still a new experience. I ended up getting put in the ‘dramatic writing’ workshop instead of the ‘fiction’ workshop, but it turned out to be a blessing because I got to explore writing in a way that I never had before. In our workshop we did a lot of talking and brainstorming as a group as well as exercises to get us thinking. Last year we were simply given a prompt and then told to write about it before discussing it.

Here is a sample of the writing I did at CCYWC:

I wrote this during one of my dramatic writing workshops, and I really like it as a start to a short story.

Prompt: Write about an adventure…

I wait for mu mom to leave before I sneak in through the fire escape. Technically it’s not supposed to open from the outside, but due to our absentee landlord and my rebellious tendencies it is always propped open. Not by a lot though; an obviously open fire escpape is an invitation to get robbed or stabbed. At best you would wake up with bird poop in your hair and rats in the kitchen. However a woodchip shoved between the heavy metal of the door and the peeling rusty frame is not noticeable enough from the outside to attract unwanted humans and not accessible enough to attract unwanted beasts. I glance around once to make sure nobody is looking on the street below before pocketing the woodchip and darting inside.

 

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