Is your kid a dreamer? A thinker? A reader? A writer?
She’s not alone. We’re seeing a small boom in creative writing workshops for kids all across the country as more and more book-loving kids get in touch with their inner J.K. Rowling.
The mini-trend was likely started by Dave Eggers and his merry band at 826 National. 826 National began as 826 Valencia, an afterschool tutoring/enrichment program for kids in San Francisco. Now, it’s the largest kids’ writing organization we know of, with chapters in New York, LA, Seattle, Boston, and Chicago. Each location has a themed storefront (pirates! spies! superheroes!) and regularly publishes books, zines, and anthologies. To take a class, volunteer, or donate, check out 826national.org.
If you’re not local to an 826 project, snoop around for a private writing workshop; they’re springing up everywhere. In New York, try Pencil Heads, and in Philadelphia check out the Swarthmore Writers Room. An example of what you’ll find: this summer, the Swarthmore Writers Room hosted a Pet Shop Writing Workshop led by Judy Schachner, author of the fantastic Skippyjon Jones confused-cat series.
I hardly need to tell you why creative writing workshops are so fantastic for kids. But just in case: ”Pencil Heads workshops encourage kids to unleash their imaginations directly onto the blank page,” write Pencil Heads founders Andrea Maywhort and Eric Saiet, who also write for Super Why! on PBS. “But don