The Art of Writing
The Art of Writing is a series of creative writing day camps for youth (up to age 13) and teens (ages 14 and over) instructed by professionally published authors who are valued participants in the Writers in the Schools (WITS) program and who have in-depth experience working with youth and teens.
2021 March Break Camp (virtual)
(March 15 to March 19 | 10:00am to 12:00pm each day)
This Art of Writing day camp for youth (ages 8 to 13) aimed to expand the creative mind and offer many paths to literary expression. Each day, campers worked with a different professionally published author, and the week spanned poetry, fiction, and non-fiction as well as oral storytelling and illustration.
- Andre Fenton (poetry)
- Emma FitzGerald (illustration)
- Theresa Meuse (oral storytelling)
- Sarah Sawler (non-fiction)
- Sherry D. Ramsey (fiction)
2020 Summer Camp (virtual)
(June 16 to July 7 | 10:00am to 12:00pm each Tuesday)
This Art of Writing camp for teens (aged 14 and up) accommodated for public health concerns by going virtual. Each week, students were introduced to a different author who covered a specific genre of writing through a blend of at-home assignments, pre-recorded videos, and real-time virtual lectures and discussions. Student participation in the camp ranged from Antigonish to Nunavut.
- June 16 — Sherry D. Ramsey (fiction)
- June 23 — Suzannah Showler (creative non-fiction)
- June 30 — Andre Fenton (poetry)
- July 7 — Cooper Lee Bombardier (memoir)
2020 March Break Camp
(March 16 to March 20 | 9:00am to 4:00pm each day)
This Art of Writing camp for youth (ages 11 to 13) explored the written word using creative approaches, such as visual writing prompts, to discover and explore character development, build description through observation, expand the use of figurative language, and promote journal writing. Participants delved into different genres and styles of writing, including poetry, fiction, non-fiction, picture books, and graphic novels.
- March 16 — In Wade White’s science fiction and fantasy workshop, students learned to build amazing and detailed worlds in which to set their stories and to create weird and wonderful characters to fill those worlds.
- March 17 — Pauline Dakin‘s non-fiction workshop showed students how to write true stories about real people and events in a way that’s dramatic and vivid.
- March 18 — Kanaar Bell invited students to “Let Your SOULTALK” by fusing creative writing and stage activities in order to grow confidence as a public speaker and help them realize just how powerful a tool the voice really is.
- March 19 — Using show & tell items and being part of a sharing circle, Theresa Meuse shared her First Nation culture with students. Everyone had a hands-on experience and was part of the cultural circle in a relaxed setting.
- March 20 — Emma FitzGerald shared how, although travel informed her drawing style, it was only when she started drawing right in her neighbourhood that her drawing style and subject matter came together to form a book. She shared a drawing exercise to help understand how ‘letting go’ in the creative process can lead to exceptional results.
2019 Summer Camps
The two inaugural Art of Writing camps — one for youth (ages 11 to 13) and one for teens (ages 14+) — explored the written word using creative approaches, such as visual writing prompts, to discover and explore character development, build description through observation, expand the use of figurative language, and promote journal writing. Participants will delve into different genres and styles of writing, including poetry, fiction, non-fiction, picture books, and graphic novels. Daily activities blended classroom and outdoor adventures to promote physical activity and imaginative play.
Week 1: The Art of Writing for Youth (July 15 to July 19)
- July 15 — Alice Walsh challenged students to throw amazing characters into swamps filled with alligators, show them struggling to survive, then have them escape just as they’re about to be eaten.
- July 16 — In Wade White’s science fiction and fantasy workshop, students learned to build amazing and detailed worlds in which to set stories and to create weird and wonderful characters to fill those worlds.
- July 17 — Poet Deirdre Dwyer got students playing with figurative language and sensory descriptions and discussing poetics and ‘wow’ moments.
- July 18 — Phil Moscovitch introduced how great non-fiction writing uses a lot of the same elements as fiction. In his session, students told non-fiction stories by exploring objects and the environment using all five senses.
- July 19 — Jan Coates revved up students’ imaginations to help them breathe life into characters—creating people readers want to know.
Week 2: The Art of Writing for Teens (July 22 to July 26)
- July 22 — Valerie Compton challenged students to hack—and break and sidestep—the rules of writing to build stories that are exploratory, captivating and fun.
- July 23 — Sarah Sawler delved into the world of journalistic non-fiction and talked about the art of the interview, writing about wacky events, and how she collaborated with the famous weather forecaster Frankie MacDonald.
- July 24 — In Andre Fenton’s workshop, students learned the basics of poetry and how it helps you become a more versatile, adaptable and fluid wordsmith.
- July 25 — lllustrator Emma FitzGerald shared how travel and her neighbourhood informed her drawing style. She led drawing exercises to help understand how ‘letting go’ in the creative process can lead to exceptional results.
- July 26 — Cooper Lee Bombardier posed the question: Whose shoes? His workshop, Writing Without Othering, aided in the creative exploration of identities not the students’ own.