Playful Creative Writing

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, subject line “Our Stories,” for more information or to schedule a workshop!

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