Today was the first day of the WITS Creative Writing Camp in Tetova on the border of Bosnia. The camp was huge with 25 students here this afternoon and four “Best-So-Far” Awards for each group — the morning kids and the afternoon kids. I am not really sure how these “Best-So-Far” Awards got started, but they have come to have a life of their own. They all culminate on the Fridays of the Camp with a “Best of the Best” Award in nine different categories, most of which are actually related to our writing, as in Best Haiku, Best Extended Poem, Best Play, Best Vignette, Best Short Story, Best Piece of Descriptive Realism, but also including Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Director of the plays that are presented the last day, usually in front of a representative sent by the embassy in Skopje.
Every afternoon, after hours with the kids, sit down together and review the writing that went on in the camp and select the best pieces “so far.” It is an interesting experience, but what is equally fun is to see the campers come in the next morning and the smiles on their faces when they have won one of the awards and they know exactly what they won it for. Then, the third day of the camp, we begin awarding campers for the “Best Body of Work So Far.”
I guess life doesn’t really give such awards, but it would be convenient to get a kind of check-up like this from time to time in life itself. It also let’s the teachers know, if there is no award for example, that we may need to see what we are doing and make changes. That has never happened, but it is possible. Hope that you are having a “Best-So-Far” Day yourself.
From Tetova, this is WITS Writer Merrilee Cunningham having a good day.