In 2011, phones vibrated or dinged with over 8 trillion text messages. Most of those texts were from teens. According to a study by Pew, teens send an average of 3,200 texts per month – which is double the number of text messages exchanged by people old enough to rent a car and, not surprisingly, 23 times the number of text messages sent by those 65 and older.
Communicating in short, sometimes cryptic messages, isn’t exactly a new phenomenon, though. Remember passing notes in the hallway? Or sending messages through friends? Technology has evolved, but teens, it seems, talk just as much as they did decades ago.
Perhaps that’s why this quote from Toni Morrison’s novel Beloved sparked so much inspired writing from our teen group at the Fort Greene Park Summer Youth Writing Workshops:
Last Saturday, on July 7th, over 40 youth writers braved the heat wave and showed up to kick off the Fort Greene Park Summer Workshops. This marks the first year we’re also offering a separate creative writing workshop for parents of the youth writers. Nearly a dozen parents participated in the inaugural workshops and we were delighted to see parents and children spending their Saturday morning writing in Fort Greene Park. At the end of the six week series, the youth writers will read their work at the Fort Greene Park Summer Literary Festival alongside this year’s headliners, Jessica Hagedorn, Tayari Jones, and Earl Lovelace. We’ll be featuring writing from both the children and parents for the next six weeks. This week’s post comes from one of our veteran teen writers, Najaya Royal. Najaya shares a poem that describes the birth of her name and another poem that captures how two friends want a moment to linger. Check back next week to see what else our youth writers create. – The Editors
On June 11, 2012 people of the Twitterverse joined us in sharing their reasons for what we declared as National Why I Don’t Write Day. Aaron Zimmerman kicked off the conversation by blogging about his own struggles with writing his second novel. Zimmerman, the founder and Executive Director of NY Writers Coalition, wrote honestly about his challenges with balancing the demands of running a nonprofit and finding time for his writing life: “My own writing has often had to take a back seat to others’ creativity.” (more…)
Last year the nation’s English teachers staged a conspiracy to get people everywhere to write about writing. As part of the annual National Day on Writing on October 20th, the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), asked folks to answer, “Why I Write” by blogging and tweeting their responses. Sneaky! Kids, blogging about “why you write” looks suspiciously like writing. The conspiracy worked. Students, celebrities, journalists, and writers of all levels and experiences responded so enthusiastically that (more…)
“I’d rather have a bottle in front of me, than a frontal lobotomy,” so said Dorothy Parker or maybe Tom Waits. This spoonerism, or the switcheroo of sounds, might hold some wisdom for writers. A recent study examining the connection between alcohol and creativity showed a 30% increase in creative problem solving after 40 young men drank vodka cranberry. Researchers hypothesize that alcohol lowers the “executive functioning” of the frontal lobe or that it makes you think less (um, yeah), which in turn may help the brain make creative associations.
While we don’t advocate alcohol as a cure for Writer’s Block, next month we’ll be getting creative with a Pub & Prompt Happy Hour at the Village Pourhouse as part of our kick-off celebration for the 7th Annual NYWC Write-a-Thon. What is the Write-a-Thon you ask? New York’s only all day writing marathon. Come to the Pub & Prompt Happy Hour to get inspired for the Write-a-Thon or stop by and cheer Write-a-Thoners as they prepare for the big event June 24. Bring a writing prompt and receive a free drink. RSVP here.
NYWC Write-a-Thon Kickoff Pub & Prompt Happy Hour
Wednesday, June 13 @ 7 PM