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SPRING 2021 FORMAT

Our Communications Manager Bethany Kaylor will lead “Own Your Voice” as a new, no-cost writing and storytelling class for high school girls and young womxn. The course will take place with a small group of 6 girls, with weekly Thursday evening meetings upstairs in our new art space. We will work together in-person, utilizing indoor and outdoor space for our project, with strict mask and social distancing measures. Masks and distancing will be required; please help keep everyone safe by observing our COVID-19 guidelines. If necessary, we will ensure that some of the sessions will be accessible virtually. This course will take place over 6 total weeks, starting in April.


PROJECT

While not everyone may identify as a writer, certainly everyone can identify—at one point or another—as a storyteller. But what makes a good story? How can we laugh out loud in one scene, then cry in the next? Own Your Voice is a writing course designed to help young womxn dig into their own personal experiences and identities, exploring the elements of effective storytelling. Through fun guided exercises (including free-writing prompts, erasure poetry, and word games), participants will experiment with language and examine their own personal stories to identify which details (key dialogue, characters, and epiphanies) are critical. The class will culminate in a final archival story and group product. Although the final project will be designed as a collective group, each participant’s individual story will be featured.


GENERAL PROGRAM INFO

This class is for young womxn who are hungry for stories. To be clear: you don’t have to identify as a “writer” to join this class; in fact, you don’t even have to particularly like writing! (RIP, 5-paragraph essay…) What you do need, though, is a commitment to exploring the various twists and turns of a story, considering why each decision was made. Whether you’re writing a novel, tackling a college application essay, or penning a letter to a long-lost friend, the ability to distinguish key narrative moments will undoubtedly improve your final piece.

The secret to good storytelling is finding a voice that is wholly yours. So bring your triumphs, fears, embarrassments, superpowers, secret crushes—you never know where a great story is hiding. Through playful experimentation and support, we’ll write from places of strength, vulnerability, and humor. While there will be some elements of formal critique, the goal of workshopping will always be to identify what’s effective and exciting in each story, and then to ask ourselves, why? There’s no homework in this class, but there will always be weekly optional readings for students! During the course of the six weeks, participants will share portions of their work aloud.

The program is no-cost for girls and families, by application on a first-come, first-serve basis.