Course Topics Descriptions

WITS + Rice Creative Writing Camp | Rice University Campus, 7th-12th Grade

 

Just Write It (7th-9th Grade)

This session is designed to get you excited about creative writing.  You will write daily and learn about various forms and techniques, including prose, memoir, short stories, and poetry.   You will discuss the nuts and bolts of writing, and through fun, interactive writing exercises, you’ll develop your own voice, be inspired by words, and explore your imagination.  Our professional writers and teachers will show you how you can use writing to explore issues that are important to you.  At the end of the session, you will share finished pieces in a celebration, and you will take home a portfolio of your own work.

 

Just Write It (10th-12th Grade)

In this workshop, you will explore the things that inspire you.  As a community of writers, you’ll focus on how to turn these inspirations into pieces of poetry, short stories, memoir, and essays.  By writing and reading daily, you’ll discuss what makes writing succeed, and you will use these techniques to help you put your own thoughts down on the blank page.  Using the college creative writing workshop as a model, you will conference and peer review each other’s work in a supportive environment. You can bring work you’ve already started, and you will get to work on new writing projects, too.   At the end of the workshop, you will share work at a reading, and you will leave with a portfolio of your writing.

 

Slam Camp (7th-9th Grade)

It’s time to speak your mind. Slam Camp will teach you how to write and perform original poetry and stories about the issues that are important to you. Award-winning slam coaches and writers will help you explore current events, your community and neighborhood, and your own truths.  Our slam coaches and instructors will help you develop tricks and techniques to make your words more powerful.  You will develop your writer’s instinct, gain confidence, and improve your public speaking skills.  Our coaches will focus on the importance of knowing your audience when performing, and you will explore how writing on paper takes on a different life when spoken on stage.  At the end of camp, you’ll broadcast your message to the world with a performance of your own work.

 

Slam Camp (10th-12th Grade)

It’s time to speak your mind. Slam Camp will teach you how to write and perform original poetry and stories about the issues that are important to you. Award-winning slam coaches and writers will help you explore current events, your community and neighborhood, and your own truths.  Our slam coaches and instructors will help you develop tricks and techniques to make your words more powerful.  You will develop your writer’s instinct, gain confidence, and improve your public speaking skills.  Our coaches will focus on the importance of knowing your audience when performing, and you will explore how writing on paper takes on a different life when spoken on stage.  At the end of camp, you’ll broadcast your message to the world with a performance of your own work.

 

Wired Words (7th-9th Grade)

In this hands-on, multimedia workshop, you will create digital writing projects drawn from and inspired by your own world. Through writing exercises and workshops, you will learn the importance of writing for an audience and the best way to use various online web platforms. Together, we will explore creative writing genres in online and multimedia formats and help you create an exciting, interactive multimedia blog, project, or tumblr. We will help you with the basics of audio and film editing to translate your stories, essays, films, and poetry into digital form.  No prior experience with technology is necessary. You will need to bring your own laptop or tablet.

 

Writers Workshop (10th-12th Grade)

The workshop is geared to writers who have completed literary works or have works in progress.  Please bring your portfolio or writing you have already started with you on the first day.  The classic writing workshop model follows guidelines in which workshop leaders and peers provide constructive feedback to a writer in a small group setting.  The model is based on the idea that we learn from reading and critiquing other writers’ work, and we are not always the best readers of our own work.  We benefit from hearing how others experience our writing.  The goal is not to tell others how to write their essays, poems, or stories, but rather to take the work on its own terms, describing the piece and offering constructive criticism based on what we perceive to be the writer’s intentions.  Writers Workshop is open to writers who focus on any genre and who want to take their current portfolio of writing to the next level of crafting and hone their writer’s instinct.

 

Know Thyself: The Art of the Essay (10th-12th Grade)

The history of the essay finds its origins in the core Renaissance ideal of “rebirth.”  This course will allow you to give “new life” to the art of essay writing by asking you to examine your personal story and connect it to a broader world of concepts and ideas.  We’ll analyze this important and passionate literary form that will take your writing beyond familiar boundaries. We’ll experiment with fun, contemporary non-fiction forms like flash non-fiction, recipe writing, humor, and even lampoon to expand and sharpen your essay writing skills.  This course is especially important for those of you who are preparing to write college entrance essays.  Through the writer workshop model of peer review, you will work with your fellow writers to hone techniques and approaches, and you will leave with a portfolio of several completed essays.