Writing the City: Workshops for Educators

WITS is excited to offer a new writing workshop series for K-12 educators. Join us for our two-part writing on location adventure.

  • Get inspired by a professional writer

  • Write on location in response to some of Houston’s complex historical markers, famous folk art environments, and historic waterways

  • Create multi-media projects that interweave private and public histories

  • Discuss classroom applications

Available Sessions:

Beyond Formulas: Writing without Templates

Folk artist Dan Phillips says, “We live in a world these days where there is a recipe and a formula for everything and that doesn’t bring out the best in humanity. When we can solve problems and give expression to our deepest passions, that’s everything.”

Join us for a day of authentic writing as we explore two of Houston’s famous folk-art environments, the Orange Show Monument and Smither Park. These visionary urban spaces in Houston’s East End will inspire us to create without formulas and to affirm our individual voices.

About the WITS writer:

Marcia Chamberlain earned a B.A. from the College of William and Mary and an M.A. from Rice University. She has taught with WITS for 16 years. In addition to receiving an Envision Grant from Rice University, she also has won a Woodrow Wilson Foundation Practicum Fellowship, a Teaching Tolerance grant from the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Emerging Filmmaker Grant from the Cultural Arts Council of Houston/Harris County (now Houston Arts Alliance), and was a finalist for the 2009 Bechtel Prize. She has published essays about medieval nuns and Chicano revolutionaries and is working on a collection of nonfiction.


Buffalo Bayou: Nature and Nurture

In this writing workshop for educators, participants will write on location along Buffalo Bayou in response to prompts in nature (water, prairie) and look at origin stories, Houston’s and our own, at critical points along this historic waterway. Buffalo Bayou is an important part of Houston life and has been its backbone for 175 years.

About the WITS writer:

Harriet Riley is a freelance writer focusing on creative nonfiction. She has had four articles published in Teachers & Writers Magazine in the last few years. Harriet recently had a personal essay in Mississippi Magazine and had a piece selected for publication with Telling Our Stories Press. Before moving to Houston in 2007, she taught undergraduate writing classes at the University of West Florida in Pensacola. She has also worked as a non-profit director, hospital marketing director, and newspaper reporter. She has her M.A. in Print Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin and her B.A. in English and Journalism from the University of Mississippi. She joined Writers in the Schools in 2008.