Denison's Summer Writing Workshop Develops Young Writers' Talents
Posted: February 21, 2000
Denison University will hold its sixth Jonathan R. Reynolds Young Writers Workshop, a program aimed at discovering and improving high school creative writing talent, this summer, June 18 - 25. The application deadline is Monday, April 10.
"The Young Writers Workshop is one of only a few workshops in the country specifically geared toward high school-age writers who have an interest and talent in creative writing," says Ann Townsend, Reynolds Workshop director and an associate professor of English at Denison. "It is designed to give the students the opportunity to develop their skills as poets and fiction writers."
The eight-day program includes intensive workshops, tutorials, group talks, readings, social encounters with visiting writers and other events designed to heighten the students' perceptions of what it means to be a writer says Townsend. The workshops are directed by guest experts and faculty in Denison's creative writing program.
Many activities for workshop participants, such as "One-on-One Conferences" with professors and students are scheduled for the week. Sessions include: "Spicing up Expository and College Writing," where students will sharpen skills for high school compositions and college application essays; "Writing Rap with the Writer," where participants will have the opportunity to read works by faculty members and visiting writers and discuss it with the authors; and "Crosswriting," which allows students to try different modes of writing, not only to explore what they do best or enjoy the most, but also to make connections between various types of writing. Time is set aside for journal writing, recreation, readings, free time and other social activities.
The faculty at this year's workshop includes: David Baker, professor of English; Townsend; Erin McGraw, an associate professor of English at the University of Cincinnati; visiting guest poets, fiction writers and playwrights; and five Denison University students.
o Baker, who earned his doctorate in English from the University of Utah, is the holder of the Thomas B. Fordham Chair in Creative Writing at Denison. He came to Denison in 1984 and teaches fiction, poetry writing and literature courses. He is the author of a book of criticism, Meter in English, and five books of poetry including, After the Reunion and Sweet Home, Saturday Night, which received the 1991 Society of Midland Authors Prize for Poetry. His newest book is The Truth About Small Towns. The poetry editor of the Kenyon Review, Baker was named 1998 winner of the Helen and Laura Krout Memorial Ohio Poetry Prize by the Ohioana Library Association and 1991 Poet of the Year by the Ohio Poetry Association. In 1995 he was awarded the Carolyn Davies Prize for outstanding lyric poet by the Poetry Society of America.
oMcGraw has written two collections of short stories, Bodies at Sea (University of Illinois Press, 1989) and Lies of the Saints (Chronicle Books, 1996), which was named a Notable Book for 1996 by The New York Times. Her stories have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, The Kenyon Review, The Georgia Review, The Southern Review, The North American Review and other journals.
oTownsend, a 1985 Denison graduate, earned both master's and doctoral degrees from Ohio State University. Her first book of poems, Dime Store Erotics, was published last year. In 1994 she won The Nation's "Discovery" Prize for Poetry; in 1995, she won a Pushcart Prize; and in 1996, she won an Ohio Arts Council grant for fiction. Her stories and poems have been published widely. She joined Denison's faculty in 1992.
The $900 tuition for the eight-day program includes all activities and room and board. Generous financial aid, made possible by the Reynolds Endowment, is available for students demonstrating financial need.
The University has offered specialized study in writing arts for more than 40 years and numerous Denison students and alumni have garnered national recognition in competitions, literary journals and publications, and highly ranked graduate-level writing programs. A 1965 Denison University graduate, Jonathan Reynolds' success as a professional writer and his interest in helping young writers develop their talents led to the creation of the workshop. Reynolds' plays include "Yanks 3, Detroit 0; Top of the Seventh," while his screenwriting credits include the Dudley Moore comedy, "Micki and Maude."
High school sophomores, juniors and seniors may apply. A completed application form, financial aid form (if needed), letters of support and a writing sample are required. The writing sample may be poetry or fiction. Applications may be obtained by calling Townsend at (740) 587-6331 or (740) 587-6207.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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