Playful Creative Writing
ImaginAction artists Diane Lefer and Christine Baniewicz both facilitate creative writing workshops around the world.
Our Stories: Playful Creative Writing for Youth
Everyone writes. Youth text, search the Internet for music and joke on Facebook. They fill out job applications. They scribble essays. Teenagers write constantly and for many reasons; however, when asked if they enjoy writing, most will wrinkle their noses. Their education taught them that writing is for producing an intellectual product, and that it’s hard work. Youth learned to write without curiosity, creativity and playfulness in exchange for passing grades and good jobs.
In “Our Stories,” Christine Baniewicz encourages teens to write creatively about their lives. Starting with simple poetry and word-association exercises, this workshop re-introduces youth to writing in a ludic mode. Early games in groups and pairs increase confidence as we write quickly, without censoring. Once everyone’s comfortable, we explore different styles in our individual work. Teens experiment with journalism, poetry, drama and fiction by writing their stories in these different modes. By the end of the workshop, participants examine issues of concern in the community with short pieces of creative nonfiction. We always share our work in the group by reading it out loud, reflecting on the author’s voice, storytelling and gifts.
How much time do I need?
This program is flexible. The more time a group has, the more deeply they can pursue ideas and experience a wide variety of techniques. An ideal workshop would encompass five to ten 2 hour sessions; however, it can be modified for a single-day crash course or to span several weeks or months. The the program is effective with as few as three and as many as 25 participants.
What does it look like?
How do I register?
Email Christine at firstname.lastname@example.org, subject line “Our Stories,” for more information or to schedule a workshop!
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Writing for Fun–and Social Justice
No matter how many words and ideas clamor inside a person’s head, many of us–especially in marginalized communities–are stymied when it comes to moving these thoughts from the brain through the hand and to the page. The arts-based program Diane offers was developed over the course of years working in Los Angeles County with adjudicated youth and emotionally disturbed children in the foster-care system, all reading and writing way below grade level–some of whom had been labeled illiterate. By using games, theatre exercises, and drawing, she gradually takes the scary out of writing. Some exercises are simply fun. Others are aimed at self-expression and at exploring social problems and realities.
The workshop is available in English and in Spanish and has been presented in the US and in Latin America.
Who should attend?
Children as young as nine through college age, teachers and human rights advocates seeking new ideas, or mixed groups of kids and concerned adult professionals.
How much time is necessary?
The full program would last five days with a 2-3 hour session each day. It can be modified for a single-day crash course or a 2-3 hour training session for adult professionals. The ideal number of students would be 12 but the program is workable with as few as 8 and as many as 25.
How do I register?
Email Diane at DianeLefer@gmail.com , subject line “Writing For Fun” for more information or to schedule a workshop!