Writing Workshop: Six-Word Stories (7/12/14)

6-word-stories

We got together to write about true stories–but we could only use SIX words to do it.

To warm up, we read examples of six-word stories from Not Quite What I Was Planning, Revised and Expanded Deluxe Edition: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure by Larry Smith (2008) and were surprised that an entire story could be told with just six words. Two of our favorites:

Perpetual work in progress. Need editor. (Sherry Fuqua-Gilson)

Watching quietly from every door frame. (Nicole Resseguie)

We talked about how we felt like we knew the people who wrote them–we understood exactly what they meant. With only six words, we were able to conjure up an image of each writer, and we were inspired to write our own. Here they are. As one volunteer says, “These are incredible. They’re so touching and poignant and poetic and wow.” We hope you enjoy them!

Julia T., age 10:

The things people do not think.

Watching for clues, clues of murder.

Life, death, war, peace, magic, ME!

Best friends through life and death.

Watching, waiting, observing. Stealing a cookie.

Sneaking into sister’s room. Oops, caught!

A blank page, why give in?

Pencil of gold, paper of dreams.

Mom! You know your ring? Well…

Jab, poke, lunge, the final point.

Chocolate? Veggies? What madman made this?

Flashing silver, fading footsteps, a scream.

Who needs instructions? A chainsaw apparently.

Dark crimson dripping, a knife clattering.

Silence, the holocaust is finally over.

Safe, my guard dropped, arrow flying.

Cup of life, blood of immortals.

Solid things fade, memories are forever.

New friends, new ideas, all fun!

 

Ella B., age 11

I fell. I forgot to cry.

A flaw in my flawless plan.

Cobblestone streets, far away from home.

Out of my shell. Nothing changed.

Your appearance becomes others’ thoughts.

Doors to open, more to close.

Spinning freely, no rules be told.

Funky, spunky, forever we will write.

Pencils and paper, ideas spark imagination.

 

Ellen R., age 10

Follow sensible rules. Break unreasonable ones.

Brother’s room. Steal underwear. Soak. Freeze.

Love. Betrayal. Bloody stumps. Broken heart.

 

Liv H., age 10

Mom! Mom! Liv ate my chocolate!

What? It was just sitting there.

Foil knife vs. pickle = sister-love.

Books, chair, alone, quiet. Ah, paradise.

Not bad, good. Not normal, weird.

Bad poem, odd decision, really Apollo?

 

Jonas S., age 7

I don’t like pears, everyone does!

I went camping in the mountains.

 

Rowan H., age 9

Regret is guilt, but good cookie.

Chocolate shake good, veggies a no-no.

Coffee shop above, imagination down below.

Boys are awesome, girls are better.

Expressing feelings in words, Denver Writes.

 

Ellie S., age 11

I’m here, can you see me?

But dad! I didn’t do anything, ugh.

Too many holes to poke through.

 

Lilia S., age 11

Out of laughter comes deep memory.

Pencil poised, paper there, ideas not.

Clown’s balloon against sky’s blue backdrop.

 

Kat E., age 13

boy lied. girl cried. love died.

sacrifice to make, heart to break.

breath of life, death by knife.

loved her, but he left her.

as skies turn gray, happiness fades.

big city full of little expectations.

it’s all fun and games until…

pen and paper, become the dream-maker.

 

Phoenix M., age 10

The pen breaks, black ink everywhere.

Laughing, playing, bouncing, until I fall.

Big eyes, nose twitching, running away.

I run, I trip, I scream.

 

Kevin Peterson (volunteer)

Nothing said to nobody in particular.

In constant need of creative validation.

Don’t overthink it, just write it.

Six words can say so much.

I asked. My cat said nothing.

I said: ‘I think that’s right.’ Or ‘I think that’s right,’ I said.

Cold rain falls on midnight roads.

Icy rain falling over dusk roads.

Fluffy snow settles on quiet roads.

 

 

Published: Our Anthology from June Summer Camp (2014)

Adventure Tales & Survival Stories :: Summer Writing Camp :: June 14 – 18, 2014

Thirteen kids, one student intern, one lead instructor, and many volunteers trekked through Denver looking for inspiration for our adventure tales and survival stories. Laura Miller, our lead instructor, designed this cover for our anthology. Isn’t it cool? The images come from the villains and elements found in our stories, and were created by us kids. Check out our stories here!*

June Summer Camp COVER FINAL (1)

*Please note: You can print this in booklet format if you’d like — just save it as a pdf and choose the “Booklet” setting in Adobe Reader when you go to print. Having a duplex printer is necessary, but if you don’t, Office Max does! There are a lot of pages, and Denver Writes is working on printing these out and binding them in an interesting way so we can send a copy to each summer camper. Stay tuned June Summer Campers!

In the meantime, enjoy this online copy.

Writing Workshop: Flash Fiction (5/10/14)

Flash fiction, micro-fiction, sudden fiction…Whatever you’d like to call it, know this: These stories are short (and we mean short), intense (imagine a novel crossed with a haiku), and powerful (whether they’re illuminating a single moment or a whole life).

We started by writing 20 word introductions about a friend, which is much harder than it sounds. How do you introduce somebody in 20 words or less? We quickly learned that we needed to choose the perfect words and the most important details to describe our friend.

FlashFiction

Then we brainstormed a list of important elements in fiction and talked about how flash fiction stories use these same elements but in a special way. We discussed what Flash Fiction IS and what Flash Fiction IS NOT.

Finally, we wrote our own flash fiction stories, which you can read here. We really hope you enjoy them!

Read our stories from Flash Fiction

Writing Workshop: How To Be a Detective (4/12/14)

WHY are mysteries so compelling to read? That’s easy!  They’re like math problems to solve, they make you think about a characters’ motives, and it’s fun to act like detectives and look for clues!

During this workshop, we talked about mystifying motives, compelling clues, surprising suspects, & diligent detectives.

Using our observation skills and detective brains, we created an entire mystery around a strangely dressed visitor, Martha Seymore.

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We wondered and discussed:

Who? What? When? Where? Why?

Then we created our very own intriguing mysteries.

We hope you enjoy reading them!

Read our stories from How To Be a Detective

Writing Workshop: How Things Began (3/22/14)

Do you ever wonder how a certain thing got its start? Like the number 6? Where did he— or she—come from? And what about all those squiggly punctuation marks? The relaxing period, clever comma, ecstatic exclamation point, sleepy question mark—where did they sprout from? (Inspired by Karen Benke’s book Rip the Page! Adventures in Creative Writing, 2010)

Well, these are questions our talented writers have answered. With the help of wonderful volunteers, our writers have created some of the most inspired stories about where these symbols came from. We combined different shapes—jagged, rectangular, curved—with movements—plummeting, bending, staggering—to create images and stories about the symbols we use every day as writers. Enjoy!

unnamed-5

Read our stories from How Things Began

Writing Workshop: Sarcastic Encyclopedia (3/8/14)

In this workshop, we considered everything we knew to be true and we threw it right out the window! We used satire to twist our ideas around in sarcastic ways and created a real live and really strange encyclopedia. You may be surprised at what you learn. You may even disagree at times. Or, you may find the truth you’ve been looking for all along. We’ve reinvented history, and maybe even the way you think. Enjoy!

sarcasm

Read our stories from: Sarcastic Encyclopedia

Writing Workshop: Calvin & Hobbes (1/11/14)

Using the hilarious antics and adventures of the beloved Calvin and Hobbes comic strip as inspiration, we practiced writing puns and poems, we used figurative language, sarcasm, and other complex language concepts and forms to write short stories. Click on the link below to read them. Prepare to laugh until it hurts!

Calvin&Hobbes

Read our stories from Calvin and Hobbes

 

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