Tonawanda News — The décor is a remarkable blend of comfort, friendliness and serious business. Tables and pencils are at the ready, and the room currently features pairs of shorts, hung in the windows on a clothesline. A recent writing project involved character studies on the adventures of who might have worn the shorts (the clothes will eventually be brought down, laundered and donated).
The fellowships typically involve weekend sessions throughout the year, with a one-week residency in the summer.
“You make better writers in an extended time”, Stockman says.
The summer catalog includes workshops for writers age 5-8 in the collaborative writing of a book, attaching plots and character development to sock puppets and writing in the style of “Magic Tree House” author Mary Pope Osborne. Older learners delve into blogging, social networking and “Writing to Change the World”, learning to write with persuasion.
The core of the Studio, though, is the fellowship, one solid and sustained year of a kid turning him- or herself into a writer. It has similarities to a music or dance school; growth through instruction and the feedback of peers and teachers, and practice, practice, practice.
This joyful intensity, in learning and practicing the methods of written expression, is potentially life-changing stuff for any young person, whether or not a writing career is in the future. The participants seem primed, though, to take advantage of the seismic changes recently seen in the publishing and newspaper industries. In a business not known for riches, it’s harder to get wealthy, easier now to find the channels to get one’s message out.
“Writers define their own audiences, find their own pathways. You don’t need a publisher to make decisions for you,” Stockman notes.
The WNY Young Writers’ Studio, at 3062 Delaware Avenue in Kenmore, can be reached at 418-3730 and www.wnyyws.org.IF YOU GO WHAT: The WNY Young Writers' Studio WHERE: 3062 Delaware Ave., Kenmore