Summertime in Fort Greene Park

Last Saturday, NYWC kicked off its first youth workshop in the Fort Greene Park Summer Literary Festival. For those of you who haven’t heard, the Lit Fest is a six-week series of free Saturday creative writing workshops for kids and an end-of-summer reading on Aug. 24. We’re excited about the line-up of established writers we’ve invited to our end-of-summer reading, and we’d like to thank all the kids, parents, workshop leaders, and volunteers who showed up for the workshop. Your enthusiasm was catching!

It was my first time volunteering for the Lit Fest, and I didn’t know what to expect. The day dawned, well, pretty gloomy. Turns out the clouds smiled on us…it didn’t rain! The kids penned a few wise observations about the weather, nature, and how life works in general. There were poems about the park and other poems about being abducted by aliens. What surprised me was how readily the kids warmed to their journals, their workshop leaders, and each other. I admit, I expected some fussing when it came down to putting words on the page. But the kids were pros.

“This isn’t like a classroom,” a kid in my workshop said. So true! It’s amazing what difference a blanket, some fresh air, and a tub of animal crackers can make. A safe space to write can mean something as simple as sitting in a circle and pretending you’re on a picnic. How can we make our fellow writers comfortable with sharing their thoughts? It’s not an exact science, and it becomes a challenge when each individual speaks and writes in their own style. But that first workshop on Saturday was a good start.

Throughout the summer, we’ll post various works from our young writers to this blog. I’m excited to read their writing, are you?

PHOTO CREDIT: Paula Vlodkowsky