Nothing motivates like a deadline!
This past week, I wrapped up a fifteen-week creative writing program for teen writers in which they wrote their own individual novels.
This was quite the challenge! Usually our programs give 18-25 weeks for such an endeavor, but this was a special one-off term. Still, somehow, my students were able to write their books, design their covers, and create some magic along the way.
Perhaps I say this at the end of every program I teach, but I really resonated with this group. Maybe it’s because we all felt we were on the same page: shy, introverted, awkward . . . and best at expressing ourselves through writing.
As we planned for our final presentation (via Zoom, of course), there was a lot of handwringing, anxiety, and stress. (Some of it even came from the students!). I finally decided to let them off the hook, and promised that I would do all the speaking as long as they wrote the scripts to go with each of their books. But when they saw that I was going to post their biography photos on each slide along with their book covers, I was assailed by another round of stress, so I evened the playing field and made sure to start the presentation with a series of awkward photos of me as a child (I mean, that’s kind of redundant—every photo of me as a child is awkward), as well as the covers of the books I wrote when I was their age.
Their book covers look SO much better than the ones I did as a kid, that’s for sure:
Ah, I will miss them, this clever crew of creatives!