Our summer camps provide writers with a creative, enriching experience that allows them to explore their imaginations while also building confidence and developing literacy skills.
We spoke with Colleen Doogan, who is teaching Write Your Heart Out for rising 3rd & 4th graders (Weeklong: August 1 – August 5, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. ET, Red Bank Borough Schools) to find out more about her and what to expect in this camp.
PWN: What’s your favorite writing exercise?
COLLEEN: I love making lists—lists of anything. Lists of things I like, things I love, things that drive me crazy mad, moments in my day, things I am grateful for, sayings, wacky words, highlights from a vacation, best times and worst times as a parent, childhood memories—you name it, I make a list out of it. I make lists because almost always something on my list jumps out at me and makes me write more. When I spend time writing off of one bullet point on a list, I am amazed to see what comes out.
PWN: What are you most looking forward to about this year’s summer camp?
COLLEEN: I am looking forward to helping kids find the joy in writing! I want to make writing fun every minute we are together. There will be choice of pens and markers, types of paper, where to sit (even on the floor), what to write about, who to talk to about your writing, how to make it better, and much more. Life is more fun when we have choices and the same goes for writing! I can’t wait to see what kids can produce when they are given choice in their writing life.
PWN: What period of your life do you find you write most about? (Childhood, adolescence, adulthood, etc.)
COLLEEN: I definitely write about the present most because it’s so hard. Being a parent is the hardest job I have ever had and I find that writing about the ups and downs helps me navigate the sometimes very rough waters just a bit better. I wish I wrote more about my past. I have been through a lot of loss over the past few years, and I desperately want to write about it. I guess raising three small kids while losing parents at the same time has kept me pretty busy and unable to quite get the words down on paper. Someday I will, and when I do it’s going to feel amazing. For now I will continue to write about this crazy roller coaster ride I am on as a mom and hopefully look back and laugh at it all someday.