[TRW 2017] How do you get teens to unleash their stories?

With Summer Learning over and TRW 2017 upon us, I'd like to hear some of your ideas on how you get the young people at your library to share their stories, promote literacy, and improve their writing skills. I know library staff across the country are planning on having some wonderful programs to support this year's TRW, and I'd just like to see what everyone is doing. This would be a great way for those who are new to TRW or have thought about programming around it to gather some ideas that they can then use at their library.  

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I found these awesome bookmarks either from the ALA store or from Demco.  If you can't get your hands on the bookmarks, you can make your own and use the topics from the back of it to spark some writing ideas with teens.

One of my English teachers suggested that the homerooms build a story round-robin fashion. One homeroom starts the story, than after a set amount of time the next homeroom picks up writing where the first left off until we get to the 20th or last homeroom; they have to end the story. If we use a Google Doc, then all of the homerooms can read it as it evolves.

Last year I took a short story and edited it into 20 short parts. On Monday I sent each homeroom their scene with a very basic background (who wrote it and the genre, etc. but no plot). They recorded their scene and sent that segment to me by Wednesday after school. (That gave me Thursday to track down missing segments.) I edited them all into one video which we watched at the end of the week.

These are wonderful ideas! Thanks for sharing, BJ!

BJ Glasener said:

One of my English teachers suggested that the homerooms build a story round-robin fashion. One homeroom starts the story, than after a set amount of time the next homeroom picks up writing where the first left off until we get to the 20th or last homeroom; they have to end the story. If we use a Google Doc, then all of the homerooms can read it as it evolves.

Last year I took a short story and edited it into 20 short parts. On Monday I sent each homeroom their scene with a very basic background (who wrote it and the genre, etc. but no plot). They recorded their scene and sent that segment to me by Wednesday after school. (That gave me Thursday to track down missing segments.) I edited them all into one video which we watched at the end of the week.

Writing contest.

I loved this year's theme. I did hand out the book mark as it is perfect for this theme. I had success with the six word memoir. One teacher starts with a paragraph, narrows it to a tweet, and then to the six word memoir. I got the idea from a book, I Can't Keep My Own Secrets, Six-Word Memoirs by Teens Famous & Obscure edited by Smith Magazine.

Doing six word memoirs sounds like a fantastic program idea!

Dorothy Allen said:

I loved this year's theme. I did hand out the book mark as it is perfect for this theme. I had success with the six word memoir. One teacher starts with a paragraph, narrows it to a tweet, and then to the six word memoir. I got the idea from a book, I Can't Keep My Own Secrets, Six-Word Memoirs by Teens Famous & Obscure edited by Smith Magazine.

This year I truly enjoyed the theme for TRW. I facilitated a 3 day (2 hrs a day in the afternoon) Creative Workshop.  I shared some of the basics of writing and the importance of our own stories and let the teens decide what to work on.  I allowed for any kind of creative effort (poetry, graphic, novel, play, even had a kid write his D&D character backstory) as long as they were willing to work on something.  We are in a small town and I averaged 8 kids for the workshop but only 5 returned for each session.  Now we are working on a writing/creative meeting twice a month with these 5 students.  I am happy to come out of this week with more enthusiasm from my teen patrons.

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