Denver Writes Update

Hello Denver Writers!

We’re overdue for a blog update, so here’s what’s going on in the world of Denver Writes!

We are in the midst of a slight website refresh, which is why we haven’t updated new writing from workshops in a while (I have quite a bit of writing stockpiled and ready to go when the new site is ready). What you should expect from the new site is a way to find writing from prior workshops, but also if interested, a way to submit stories and writing. We’d also love to have a more active blog, with not just entries from us, but also from volunteers, teachers, students, anyone with an idea!

We’d love to get back to regular publishing, and looking into starting a Patreon to help cover costs associated with that, and are trying to figure out the logistics of tiers and rewards.

For regular Denver Writes business, we are 3 weeks away from our first summer camp, and we still have space available in all four  camps (but space is VERY limited in 2!).

Typically over the summer we notice a drop in Workshop numbers, but we might do a couple of special event workshops! Right now we’re thinking of a generational workshop, where young writers are invited to write WITH parents, older siblings, or grandparents. We’re also planning a Myths of Casa Bonita, where our young writers will explore the world of Denver’s Weirdest Restaurant and then write stories based on what inspires them!

Over the summer we’d love to continue doing our creative writing club, at BookBar Monday afternoons 4-6 and potentially at BackSpace on Wednesdays if there’s interest. The possibility to changing the hours (either earlier or later) is also an option.

And finally, I’m (Kevin) going to switch to first person, to personally say thank you to all of the participants, volunteers, the combined staffs of Metropolis Coffee and BookBar, for my first amazing year as Program Director. Volunteering with Denver Writes for the past few years was already one of my favorite experiences, the opportunity to come onboard and plan programing, bring in new volunteers has been an incredible experience. The weekly creative writing club is one of the absolute highlights of each week, as the writers bring in an amount of enthusiasm, energy, and creativity that’s almost immeasurable. I’m very excited for where the future brings Denver Writes and myself and where I can help bring Denver Writes.

Thank you so much for all of your support!

Kevin Peterson, Program Director.

September Volunteer Spotlight: Maryanna Brunkhorst

Each month, Denver Writes highlights phenomenal volunteers without which the work we do would not be possible. This is an opportunity to get to know them just a little bit better!

Click here to find out about why Maryanna Brunkhorst wishes she could speak Portuguese and what she means about tasting life twice!

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Artist Spotlight: Phoenix Miller

Artist Spotlight with Phoenix Miller

An interview series designed to highlight the creativity, drive, and skill of the amazing students at Denver Writes, “Artist Spotlight” poses questions about writing and the writing life to authors age 8-15 and includes an excerpt from the author’s poem, story, play, comic, or essay—created in our studio at Back Space.

Phoenix Miller

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Phoenix is a ten-year-old writer who has attended many workshops with Denver Writes. During the workshop, “The Art of Flash Fiction,” she authored the flash story “The Cruise.”

DW: What was the inspiration behind your story “The Cruise”?

PM: My inspiration came when I looked at the idea-starters, and saw the words “ship”, and “ghost”. It was then that the idea was born.

DW: How did Denver Writes help you write this story?

PM: The volunteers helped me with molding my story, and helping edit. Also, they provided an idea starter which worked very well for me.

DW: What do you love about writing?

PM: I love that you can escape into a different world, even a different dimension. For me, writing takes my mind off my worries. I end up in a world where none of my troubles exist. I can make the characters do whatever I want, whenever I want–I can even put myself in a different situation. And reading your work after you are done, you just think, “wow, I just created this”, and, personally, I love that feeling.

DW: Which books or authors are you reading right now?

PM: I’m constantly reading books. Meaning, on average, I read about two novels per week, (unless it is something really long, like the last Harry Potter book, or Wildwood)

At the moment, I have just finished The Fault in Our Stars (which is an amazing book and I recommend it to everyone), and I am starting The Westing Game (which is also very entertaining so far). The one impossible question for me is, “what is your favorite book?” I always answer, “every book I read”, I read one book and say, “this is my favorite book!” Then the next book I read I say the same thing, and so on.

DW: What are your future writing goals?

PM: My goal for this year is to finish one of the novels I have started, edit it, and then self-publish. Going even further into future goals, I plan to finish and publish even more books, maybe even someday, in my spare time between dance, become a children’s author. I think that I would be someone like Barbara Park because I absolutely love her Junie B. Jones books, (I read them to my sister every night while cracking up at the clever and hilarious hidden jokes).

The Cruise

By Phoenix Miller  

“Everybody on?” booms a loud voice from the speakers above. My family and I are on vacation, on a cruise ship in the Caribbean. I walk into the room I will be staying in, and look out at the beautiful sunset. The room is pretty boring—white bed, brown dresser, black nightstand. The only thing I really like is the huge window by my bed. I flop down and throw my suitcase by the dresser. I take out my diary and look for a hiding place.

“I guess I’ll just put it under the bed,” I mutter.

I kneel down and look under the bed, but something is already there. I scream and back against the wall.

“I am the ghost of the future, and I have come to warn you!”

“About what?” I whimper.

The ghost smiles and opens her mouth to say something. I shut my eyes tight, frozen with fear. But when I open them, the ghost is gone.

“Everybody to the dining hall for a party,” the speakers boom.

“It’s okay, it was just a dream,” I whisper, but I would always remember what happened that evening.

June Volunteer Spotlight: Casey Selover

Each month, Denver Writes highlights phenomenal volunteers without which the work we do would not be possible. This is an opportunity to get to know them just a little bit better!

Click here to find out about which author Casey Selover would love to meet and her opinion on pens vs. pencils!

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May Volunteer Spotlight: Erin Christian

Each month, Denver Writes highlights phenomenal volunteers without which the work we do would not be possible. This is an opportunity to get to know them just a little bit better!

Click here to find out about the many talents of Erin Christian and what Stephen King once said to her face-to-face!

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April Volunteer Spotlight: Tina Boogren

Each month, Denver Writes highlights phenomenal volunteers without which the work we do would not be possible. This is an opportunity to get to know them just a little bit better!

Click here to find out what Tina Boogren has to say about Dave Eggers, J.D. Salinger, and having dinner with David Sedaris!

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Artist Spotlight: Felix Hillhouse

Artist Spotlight with Felix Hillhouse

An interview series designed to highlight the creativity, drive, and skill of the amazing students at Denver Writes, “Artist Spotlight” poses questions about writing and the writing life to authors age 8-15 and includes an excerpt from the author’s poem, story, play, comic, or essay—created in our studio at Back Space.

Felix Hillhouse

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Felix is a seven-year-old writer who attended the workshop, “The Art of Flash Fiction.” During the workshop, he authored the flash story “Cotton Candy.”

DW: What was the inspiration behind your story “Cotton Candy”?

FH: Birds!

DW: How did Denver Writes help you write this story?

FH: The volunteers gave me advice.

DW: What do you love about writing?

FH: I can write whatever I want!

DW: Which books or authors are you reading right now?

FH: I like books by the author Ron Roy.

DW: What are your future writing goals?

FH: Publishing a book about Minecraft—Ender Dragon, Wither, and Hidro!

 

Cotton Candy

by Felix Hillhouse

 

I was watching birds and one came up to me and pooped on me. So on the beach, I had bird poop on me. I changed into my swimming suit. My mom washed the poop off my clothes and I went swimming with my friend Flechter. We swam and swam until we saw bird poop in the water and then a weird bird actually talked and it said, “Let me be your pet,” and we said, “Ok.”

The bird soared through the air and went home with our moms and our new birds. The birds grew as big as are home, so they stayed in the backyard, and we went to the park with them and to the school. But one day they left us—so they just wanted us so they would not die and they didn’t. We were sad that they used us, but they said, “Sorry,” and continued to say they wanted to be our pet. “But we won’t use you this time,” and they didn’t.

So they rode them, and by them I mean us, and we loved them and took care of them and snuggled them everyday. We took them on rides everyday and every night. They were also great friends. We never went away from each other. On airplane rides we rode them.

And then my sister got a giant bird too, and she snuggled it and loved it so much and kissed and hugged it. But the bird was in love with Lowell’s bird and they married and had a baby bird that was really cute. Its name was Cookies and Cream and it stayed with us then. My and Fletcher’s birds married some girl birds, but it took a little while to marry, and we kept the babies.

Fletcher named his bird, Dark Pit, and I called my bird, Pit, and the babies never fled away because we loved them.

 

March Volunteer Spotlight: Kevin Peterson

Each month, Denver Writes highlights phenomenal volunteers without which the work we do would not be possible. This is an opportunity to get to know them just a little bit better!

Click here to find out more about Kevin Peterson and why, if he didn’t write, he’d go crazy!

 

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March Volunteer Spotlight: Peter Derk

Each month, Denver Writes highlights phenomenal volunteers without which the work we do would not be possible. This is an opportunity to get to know them just a little bit better!

Click here to find out about Peter Derk’s dream to own an arcade machine someday. Preferably Robotron 2084. Preferably before the actual year 2084.

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Artist Spotlight: Rowan Hillhouse

Artist Spotlight with Rowan Hillhouse

An interview series designed to highlight the creativity, drive, and skill of the amazing students at Denver Writes, “Artist Spotlight” poses questions about writing and the writing life to authors age 8-15 and includes an excerpt from the author’s poem, story, play, comic, or essay—created in our studio at Back Space.

 

Rowan Hillhouse

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Rowan is a ten-year-old writer who attended the workshop, “The Art of Flash Fiction.” During the workshop, he authored the flash story “Amazing.”

DW: What was the inspiration behind your story “Amazing”?

RH: That day all of the kids in the workshop were given a picture to write about.   I got a picture of a dad and a girl holding hands.

DW: How did Denver Writes help you write this story?

RH: They gave me a few tips and pointers and helped me whenever I asked for help.

DW: What do you love about writing?

RH: I love that there is no limit to your imagination! You can pretty much do whatever you want.

DW: Which books or authors are you reading right now?

RH: Right now I am really into realistic fiction books that always have a “lesson to be learned” hidden in the book. My favorite book right now is Close to Famous.

DW: What are your future writing goals?

RH: I have been trying to work on a book for a long time, but have never gotten around to finishing it. My goal is to finish that book. And then to publish it.

 

Amazing

By Rowan Hillhouse

 

I am a magazine photographer, and let me get one thing straight, I don’t mess around. I was walking along a path with camera at hand. I needed a picture now. Just enough to try to capture a glimpse of the importance of family. Then it hit me. The scene was perfect, almost beautiful. The breeze was gently waving the branches of a tree. The leaves were falling down so light it was almost magic. Everything was a blur of color. No brown or black to be seen. Sun was shining through the treetops, giving off a faint glow. Birds chirped softly. And, to top it off, a girl was holding her dad’s hand. The little girl whispered something into her dad’s ear, and the scene filled with soft laughter. Now was my chance. I took the picture carefully.

Then I put my camera down. It was like a dream. The words “If only” rang in my head as I tiptoed silently away. You see, my dad and mom were never very close to me. This picture makes me want to change the past. Still, I’m glad someone else can be as happy as I wanted to be. A tear filled my eye with happiness. I could still hear the faint sound that could not be described. It was almost like honey being poured, no music, well, let’s just say it was simply, amazing.