UNCA creative writing program for high school students returns in June

Press release

From UNC Asheville News Services

“Write Now,” a creative writing program for high school students, will return to UNC Asheville this summer with workshops held weekdays, June 17-28, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. “Write Now” offers each participating student experience in different styles of writing – fiction, creative non-fiction and poetry – under the tutelage of three of Asheville’s finest writing instructors.

Students will have workshops each day with memoirist Janet Hurley, feature writer and novelist Elizabeth Lutyens and poet Vievee Francis. Joining these three experienced instructors in shaping the program is Tommy Hays, executive director of UNC Asheville’s Great Smokies Writing Program. Students will participate in discussions, activities and exercises, share and critique each others’ writing, and read works on writers’ craft.

Hurley will lead sessions on creative non-fiction, including memoir, magazine features, multi-media essays and explorations of historical events. With discussions of the ethics of “true stories” and how craft considerations of fiction and poetry apply, as well as experiential activities and writing exercises, the first week will prepare students for producing and workshopping one complete creative non-fiction work in the second week. A freelance writer who has published articles in Our State and VERVE magazines, Hurley is a teaching artist in Asheville City Schools, as well as founding director of the True Ink program for young writers.

Lutyens’ sessions will tap students’ own experiences as sources for creating fictional characters, settings and a plot with a clear beginning, middle and end. Participants also will read published stories and novel excerpts, learning to read from a writer’s perspective. By the end of the program, students should have completed a first draft of at least one short story. Lutyens teaches the Prose Master Class at the Great Smokies Writing Program and led a writing/critiquing exchange program between her adult students in Asheville and 11th and 12th graders at Boston Latin Academy. Her novel-in-progress was a semi-finalist in the 2011 William Faulkner-Wisdom Competition.

Francis’ contemporary poetry sessions will use reading, writing exercises and games to jump right into today’s literary practices and approaches. Students will look at pop culture’s influence on poets, from comic books to coffee, movies to improv, fastidiousness to fast food. Francis will invite students to muddy the lines between what is spoken and what is written and have fun while writing. Francis has authored two books of poetry – “Blue-Tail Fly” (Wayne State University Press, 2006) and “Horse in the Dark” (Northwestern University Press, 2012) – and formerly taught high school poets through the InsideOut Literary Arts Project in Detroit.

“Write Now” is a program of the Asheville Graduate Center at UNC Asheville. The session fee is $445, which includes course instruction, materials, required books and lunch each day. For more information and to register, visit agc.unca.edu/write-now, or contact Nancy Williams at nwilliam@unca.edu or at 828.250.2353.


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