No in-person contact? No problem. Here’s what we’ve been up to this past month via Zoom! If you are interested in bringing a program to your school or organization, email Jennifer Chauhan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shore House (Long Branch)
We have increased our sessions with Shore House members, now meeting virtually every week on Thursdays. This past week, we wrote on the theme “grace,” using a poem by U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo to inspire us. We redefined grace in our own words and then made lists of what grace looks like to us. Because we are now meeting virtually, we have been able to invite members from other clubhouses all over the United States to join us for these sessions. So far, we’ve had members attend from Michigan and Maine!
Our first virtual meeting with the Womyn’s Worth mentoring group from Lunch Break was held on Wednesday, April 22, and we were so happy to be back with these incredible women! We began by reading this article in The New York Times, and we then moved into a conversation about how we are coping through this pandemic. We talked about our fears and anxieties as well as ways to stay grounded and positive as we move forward. We are always inspired by these women!
Second Chance Cancer Support Group
We were honored to be invited to host a workshop with members of Second Chance, a Red Bank cancer support group. Originally, we were supposed to meet in person, but we easily transitioned to a workshop on Zoom. We began by doing a meditative writing prompt, focusing on our senses to help ground us. Then we read Mary Oliver’s Wild Geese and used phrases from the poem: “you do not have to …” “tell me about …” and “whoever you are …” to write reflectively. We were so grateful to hear stories of encouragement, inspiration, strength, and hope. We look forward to working with this group again in the future.
Teacher Write-In & Share
Last week, we launched a new program for teachers. Every Thursday, from 4 to 5 p.m., teachers of all grades are invited to join us for a weekly write-in and share. We begin each week with a prompt. After sharing our writing, we break into two groups (teachers of grades K-5 and grades 7-12) so teachers can share strategies and resources. Already, so many creative ideas were exchanged, and teachers left energized. Register for today’s write-in here.
Friday Lunchtime Write-In
Every Friday, from 12:15 to 1 p.m., we offer the time and space to just write. Using a guiding theme, we give three prompts to freewrite in response to, encouraging you to allow your mind to go in whatever direction it chooses. At the end, there is time to share–only if you wish. So far we’ve explored dreams, objects, identity, nature, and grace. It’s been incredible to hear all the different stories and reflections that have emerged. Join us tomorrow, May 1, to discover what theme we’ll be writing about next!
Poem of the Day & Bridge Ink
In honor of National Poetry Month, we hope you enjoyed reading poems featured on our social media platforms from the talented writers published in Bridge Ink, our online young adult literary magazine. Bridge Ink welcomes submissions from young writers from all over the world–in fact, we’ve already received submission from Canada, England, and Greece! Teen writers ages 12 and up can submit pieces for the next issue of Bridge Ink here.
Because we do not want cost to be a deterrent to taking classes, PWN has always provided partial and full scholarship seats. This past session, we have seen an increase in the need for financial assistance and therefore have offered more scholarship seats. We know the students who did not have to drop classes are incredibly grateful for this support. For information about our scholarship program, email Jennifer Chauhan at email@example.com.
Tween Writing Group
Our Tween Writing Group has been able to stay connected by moving to the online platform Wet Ink. Our tweens are really enjoying having this opportunity to continue sharing their work and receiving feedback from one another to strengthen their pieces. In fact, one tween writer posted in our discussion forum just this past Wednesday: “I like writing in this class because I get feedback on my work! I think that this whole Wet Ink thing is really cool too!” This week, our tweens read Angels and Blueberries by Tara Campbell to inspire them to create their own folktales about why the sky is blue. It’s been wonderful seeing their vivid imaginations shine through their creative works!
Teen Writing Group
We cannot say enough about how much our teen writers inspire us and blow us away with their talents! This group is teen-led, and every week, our teen leaders create engaging lesson plans that our teen writers are so excited to jump to. This community has been so beneficial for our teen writers that they’ve even invited their friends to take the class with them. This session holds one of our biggest Teen Writing Groups yet–with nine students participating! Our teen leader Megan remarked on the class: “Teen Writing Group is a place where I feel safe and secure. If nothing else, just being around writers and people who enjoy your craft is therapeutic and helps you build confidence to keep at it!” We completely agree!