Coming Again Next Summer: WTF Poetry & Creative Writing Labs for Teens!

What’s your teen doing this summer? Binging on Netflix and YouTube? Wearing out the game console? Or just plain sleeping in until right before you get home from work?

Give them something better to do. Teens have their own tender and terrifying imaginations–how about letting them figure out how to play with their own stories, instead of following along to someone else’s for a change?

To Live and Write WTF labs are interactive workshops where participation, feedback, and the sharing of ideas are crucial to success. Basically, your teen gets to explore and experiment with concepts rooted in writing, storytelling, poetry, effective communication, and WhyTF self-expression depends so heavily on grammar and punctuation. That’s just one of the side benefits of exploring the power of the written word; we may be having fun with storytelling, but we’re dead serious about the quality of the writing.

Each 3-day lab stretches across a Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, with an open mic available Friday evenings–depending on interest. Email to sign yours up for one, some, or all of our WTF Poetry & Creative Writing labs for teens, offered in Alameda from June 21 through August 18 (excluding July 4 week). Summer ends with a showcase event at Books, Inc. Alameda where each teen can show off their tender, terrifying work to a live audience. Check out the calendar for dates and times.

Whether your teen is a blogger, a novelist, a short-story-teller or a poet, the challenge is the same: Engage the reader or lose them forever. Are they struggling with the big questions, the where-to-begins, the what-nexts, and the how-does-this-thing-ends? Awesome. Caesar Kent and Bronwyn Emery have a combined 30+ years of experience writing all kinds of fiction, poetry, and non-fiction for all kinds of audiences, and have plenty of fun and challenging plans for kicking their writing into high gear, whatever kind of writing they’re into.

What do Caesar and Bronwyn know that so many dreamers, wannabes, and “someday’-ers” don’t? Simple: Writers write. Writers show up to the page, pull it close and work their thoughts and inspiration into words. Then they weave those words into sentences, stringing them together until there’s a story, a nugget of truth, a gem of brilliance. There’s a process, unique to each writer, and the creative habit is the foundation. Backstory, world building, character creation–it’s all part of pulling a story together from pure imagination. We’ll show your teen how to dive in and dig around for the best ideas and polish them into something brilliant.

Your teen must be prepared to brainstorm, to explore and experiment with ideas and story line, to give and receive constructive feedback, to conform to the rules of story and structure, to break all the rules, and to write daily–it’s the key to everything. When a writer establishes a creative habit, showing up to the page becomes irresistible, because that is where the muse lives. What’s their muse and why do they want one? We figure that out together.

Each lab takes place on the patio at Julie’s Coffee and Tea Garden in Alameda, to give your teen the experience of being a writer in a busy café, and an idea of what it’s like to be part of a thriving community of writers. 

To sign your teen up for one or more labs, please email or call 510-205-6986 and leave your name and brief message–we will return your call as quickly as possible.

Cost: $75 per 3-day WTF Poetry & Creative Writing Labs for Teen, plus cash each day for food and drink.

Caesar Kent is a veteran of the spoken word poetry scene. He has performed and hosted on stages around the Bay Area, most notably at 2016 San Jose Poetry Festival. He is currently on the board of directors for Poetry Center San Jose, and acts as the Engine of Poetry for To Live and Write in Alameda. He is a tutor, works on two literary magazines, Red Wheelbarrow and Caesura, and studies English at UC Berkeley. Poet, dreamer, master of metaphor; spoken word wrangler.

Bronwyn Emery is the founder and facilitator of To Live and Write in Alameda, a writing community that exists on Facebook and IRL. In past lives, she has been a columnist and Our Town editor at the Tracy Press, the Marketing and Community Relations Director at Alaska Sports, Inc., and a ghostwriter for self-help gurus. She has mentored new writers off and on since 2002 and is currently a writing coach, developmental editor, and novelist who co-hosts the monthly Story Slam at Books, Inc. Alameda and conducts interactive writing labs and workshops for adults. Writer, mother, lover of cats; introvert herder.

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