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The Key to creative writing

March 11, 2009

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been endeavoring to get myself into seminars and classes here at ARTech.  The purpose in this is twofold:  an opportunity to give staff feedback on their craft based on a focused period of observation,   and a need to familiarize myself more with the many seminars and classes that offered to our students.   It’s not been easy,  my schedule has been cluttered recently with dull, but necessary administrative tasks such as budget planning and the contract renewal process.

The observation process starts a conversation with the staff member about the format and goals of the seminar.   I then schedule a time to observe.  As much as I try to keep these times clear of other business, I’m afraid unforeseen administrative tasks have, on occasion, pulled me away at the last minute.

Such was the case with Annie’s writing workshop observation.  We made solid plans for meeting at The Key, so I could witness this gathering of high school student writers.  Twice a week, Annie transports groups of students into Northfield.  After meeting at The Key, these young writers disperse into local coffeeshops or other quiet places to write.  The writing sometimes centers on a theme, sometimes not. This innovative workshop is extremely popular with our high school students, so I was keen to see it at work.

An unscheduled administrative task that couldn’t wait curtailed my first visit.  Second time around, I was to blame, neglecting to put the rescheduled visit on my Google calendar.  Fatal mistake!   A call from Annie wondering where I was led me to hastily head over to catch the last thirty minutes of the workshop.  It was well worth the effort.  I arrived in time to listen to Annie lead a share of student writing which at various times was humorous, fanciful, adventurous and brave.   Most impressive, was the evident passion the students had for the creative writing process and the bond of trust that encouraged them to share their creations with each other.  It was inspiring.

David Henke, Northfield News reporter, also visited the workshop.   Here’s his report, that featured in Saturday’s edition of the paper. 

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