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Summer Career Connections Session 5, Day 1, Creative Writing: Short Stories

Posted by on Monday, July 17, 2023 in blog, SAVY.

Day1:  We had a great first day in Creative Writing: Short Stories! I so enjoyed meeting all of the students and learning about their goals for the course this week. We have some students who are brand new to creative writing and others who have written many stories before, so we will be able to workshop with each other and learn about writing techniques that work best for each individual student. 

This morning, we started with some introduction activities and then jumped into the core questions of the course: what is writing? How do writers know what to write? What makes a great story? How do writers start the process of writing, and what do they do when they get stuck? How do writers utilize the revision process effectively? Students brainstormed elements of writing and stories, and then we read a short story together to expand our list. In particular, we focused on the elements of suspense, setting, humor, descriptive imagery, and conflict. 

From there, we looked at a series of pictures and asked students to use descriptive language to explain what they saw. We worked to transform those descriptions into stories that come alive on the page. After all, the best stories create images in readers’ minds—so we worked backward to achieve that goal! 

In the afternoon, we explored our first genre of short stories—memoirs and autobiographies. Memoir writing is all about perspective, so students each chose a positive memory and first wrote it from their own perspective, then from the perspective of someone else in the memory, and then from an outsider/third-person perspective. We spent the afternoon expanding, sharing, and workshopping our stories to develop them as much as possible. Then, after a quick writing improvisation game, we moved into sensation writing and capturing the perspective of inanimate objects. 

Some dinner table questions: 

  • In the image description activity, what story did you brainstorm? How/why did you create that story in your head? How did you translate the story to the page? 
  • What memory did you choose for the memoir workshop? Which different perspectives did you choose to represent and why? 
  • What inanimate object did you choose to write about? How did you represent its thoughts and feelings? 

We look forward to diving more deeply into the material tomorrow! 


Ms. Waxman and Mr. Knight