by Mike Cecconi

The Little Falls Public Library is pleased to announce the return of its Creative Writing for Middle and High School Students Workshops, Monday evenings from 5 PM to 6 PM throughout the autumn season (Columbus Day Monday excluded) at the Library’s 10 Waverly Place location. There will be activities and games for young writers, as well as the sharing of their original creative works, primarily focused toward middle and high school students, while also open to advanced upper elementary age writers as well.

This ongoing creative writing group is being led by Carol Whritenour, a member of the library’s staff with twenty-five years of experience as an educator. Typically, their sessions will start out with a brief prompt for brainstorming of ideas to get the creative juices flowing. After sharing and discussing those ideas, the group will then segue into one of a variety of games associated with words or wordplay, anything from a simple round of Hangman or work with anagrams to games with additional physical elements to them, such as Unusual Props, Headbandz or Word Association Ball Toss.

When those games are finished, the group then has time to share and discuss their previous week’s writing “assignment.” This is where the writers’ individual talents and projects shine, sharing their work with each other. Positive feedback on their writing is shared, leading into a discussion of what the group enjoyed about the works and if their writing helped the other see something in a different way or if it provided them a new insight into each other’s perspectives. After reflecting on the work prompted by the previous week’s group, a new writing “assignment” is given out to the young writers. There are a wide variety of topics that will come up over the ensuing weeks of the group including “Knowledge is Power,” “Stories from a Hat,” “The Dark Mysterious,” and “Curiosity Shop,” just to name a few.

Ms. Whritenour’s idea behind offering this creative writing program is twofold. One, to get young minds writing and allowing their burgeoning creative forces to be explored. Two, it also gets the young writers into the library which, in turn, will encourage them to explore their reading as well. It is proven that the best way to improve reading skills is by reading. It is her goal in the workshop series to encourage the young student’s writing and reading at the same time, as the two skillsets fit together hand in hand.

Carol originally started the program in the autumn of 2020 as a series of online Zoom meetings, as were the conditions of the time. With the continuing enjoyment and interest of those young creative writers from those earlier sessions, as well as the gradual re-opening of the community to in-person meetings for such events, the Library hopes this will be a perfect opportunity for your growing writers to have an extracurricular space to explore their creativity once again. The writers involved have been growing in leaps and bounds, improving and developing week by week, while also having light-hearted fun along the way. Whether expanding their talents or just enjoying trying word cards to their head for a session of a word board game, it is a unique opportunity to help our local writers of the future shine!

For more information on this or other upcoming events, you can visit the Little Falls Public Library’s website at www.lflibrary.org, check out their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/littlefallslibrary, or give them a call at 315-823-1542. The Little Falls Public Library looks forward to helping local creative writers grow and thrive!