Imagine a classroom where teachers learn from the writers they serve and where every writer in the room begins to learn more about who they are and how their chosen modes of expression can make them of real influence in the world.
Imagine a learning community where multimodality serves the production of sophisticated alphabetic text and print–where kids who claim to hate writing learn how to expand their definition of what it is and why that richer definition really matters.
Imagine spending one week of this summer participating in an intensive #MakeWriting Studio session.
Sessions will be held at Kenmore United Methodist Church: 32 Landers Boulevard in Kenmore, New York. Writers of all backgrounds and faiths are most welcome. We are grateful to KUMC for donating the space, but we are not affiliated with this organization, and our sessions are not at all religious in nature.
Everyone will define their own purposes and choose their own topics and forms. Everyone will experiment with different materials and modes of expression as well. At the end of the week, we will share what we learned with those who might benefit from it.
Family and friends will be welcome to join us for the last hour of that session.
This is true for all participants–writers and teachers alike.
All of the profits from these sessions will be donated to the Kenmore Village Improvement Society (KVIS). What is KVIS? It’s a nonprofit organization that makes my small community better, and I’m committed to contributing to local, grass-roots organizations like these.
All participants will explore a variety of uncommon multimodal mentor texts and compositions, and they will gain access to a significant digital archive that they may return to over time.
Teachers will be able to choose from any one of Angela’s four books to keep for their own. Two of these books focus on bringing making into the writing workshop, one speaks to school culture, and her most recent book, to be published this year by Routledge, challenges the myth of the resistant writer. Orders will be placed on site, and deliveries will be made directly to teacher’s homes.
Young writers will have the opportunity to select and order a book about writing authored by an experienced writer and created for writers their age. They will select from a variety of titles that will be made available to them during the week. Orders will be placed on site and deliveries will arrive at each writer’s home.
Please select your age group, if you are a young writer.
Teachers: Please choose the morning or afternoon session, depending on your own interests and needs.
The answers to the questions that are asked most frequently are found below. If you need further support, just contact Angela.
Are the sessions multi-age?
Yes. The morning sessions are for writers ages 5-12, and the afternoon sessions are for writers 13-17.
Are group sizes limited?
Yes. Twenty writers will be accepted into each program on a first-come, first-served basis. Five teachers will be accepted into each program in the same manner.
What should writers bring each day?
Most materials will be provided, but if you or your child prefers to use a specific device, please plan to bring it. I also recommend bringing a water bottle and a peanut-free snack, as these will not be provided.
What makes this experience different from other writing camps?
#MakeWriting Studio sessions encourage multimodal composition. Rather than merely privileging print, we write using all expressive modes: visual, spatial, gestural, aural, haptic, and alphabetic. Multimodal composition is also used throughout each writer’s process, in order to support the development of far more sophisticated alphabetic text and print.
Our sessions center the writers in the room, in order to serve their unique needs, interests, and unique well. Each writer will learn how to define and express these things, and the projects that they pursue will align accordingly. Here, writers choose their own topics, forms, and structures. They also choose the best modes of expression, depending on their greater purposes, too.
So, what will writers actually create?
Most writers will plan and begin to create a multimodal composition of their own choosing. Digital storytellers may create narratives and begin designing stop motion videos that bring them to life. Dancers might choreograph arguments and prepare to perform them. Researchers might investigate topics that intrigue them and then produce infographics that enable them to share their expertise. The possibilities are endless, and what each writer creates will differ, depending on their interests and needs and the influence they hope to have on their users and audiences.
What if we register and then need to cancel?
Your payment will be refunded in full until July 15, 2020. After this time, refunds will only be given if another writer registers in your place.
Can we join a wait-list?
Yes. If you are unable to register because a session closes, please contact Angela and ask to be added to the wait list.
Will these sessions include academic or test writing practice?
No. These sessions include authentic writing experiences that are based on writers’ interests and needs.
Will you tutor my child in academic or test writing?
I’m sorry, but this isn’t possible at this time.
If I'm a teacher, may I register for only one or two days?
Teachers must register and attend for the entire week.
If I'm a teacher, may I earn professional learning credit?
Certainly, with your district’s approval. Documentation of your participation will be provided.
What updates can we expect after we register?
Upon registration, expect to receive a welcome packet. Check your email for this digital document, and please complete the required registration forms and return them to Angela promptly.
You will receive a session reminder in mid-July as well.
If you would like to connect with writers and teachers prior to your session, consider joining the Building Better Writers Facebook group.
What if my child has allergies?
You will be asked to share this information on the registration forms that you will find in the welcome packet, and Angela will accomodate. If this isn’t possible, she will let you know right away, and your fees will be returned to you.
Where might we stay if we're traveling from out of town?
The Holiday Inn on Delaware Avenue is six miles from our location. The Homewood Suites in Amherst are about the same distance away. There are many other local area hotels in Amherst, Tonawanda, and Buffalo, New York.
If you search for Kenmore, New York on Airbnb, you’ll find many closer options there as well. Kenmore is a walkable, friendly community. Area traffic is rarely overwhelming.
Who is Angela Stockman?
I’m an experienced, certified teacher, an author, and a professional learning facilitator. I’m also the founder of the WNY Young Writers’ Studio, the organization sponsoring this event. You can learn more about me here.