PWN Teen Lit Fest: Voice & Verse
Calling all teen and young adult writers and artists!
Join us for a fun, engaging day of interactive workshops, informative panels, and opportunities to share your work! Writers and artists of all experience levels welcome.
Teachers: We invite you to attend with your students and participate in the workshops!
Once you register, you will receive a follow-up email so you can indicate which workshops you plan on attending. You do not need to attend all workshops.
When: Sunday, April 25, 2021
Time: 11:45 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET (Dinner break from 5 to 7 p.m.)
Where: On Zoom
Cost: ages 12-23 = $5 suggested donation; ages 24+ = $10 fee
11:45 a.m. Welcome!
We kick off the day with fun games and an introduction to the day’s events. Join us to say hello to your fellow writers and win cool prizes.
12 to 1:15 p.m. Vision Board Workshop
with Pamela Major
Are you ready to see your vision come to life? It’s been proven that visualizing your dreams and committing them to paper helps you achieve them. During this interactive workshop, entrepreneur and author Pamela A. Major guides you to create a personal vision board and become aware of the steps it takes to help your vision come off the board and into your everyday life.
1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Teen Writing Life Panel: Competition vs. Community
with Luke Herzog, Koye Oputa & Nyla Winning
moderated by Vivian DeRosa
How do you build a life as a teen writer? Are your fellow writers collaborators or competitors? Do prestigious competitions create an environment of pressure and privilege? And what comes next? Join us for a lively conversation with three current and former teen writers as we talk about cultivating community, navigating the teen writing competition world, and where our writing lives have taken us since.
2:45 to 3:45 p.m. Instagram Writing
with Lisa Hartsgrove
Do you like writing flash fiction, nonfiction, and poetry? Do you ever combine your writing with art? What do you do with your bite-sized creativity? Where does it fit in the world? We think—Instagram! Social media doesn’t always have to be a platform for selfies & cat photos (though we love those, too). It can also be a great place to self-publish your work, getting your unique creative voice into the world so others can benefit from your words. Join us as we look to other Instagram writers for inspiration, write in response to creative prompts, and share our work with a supportive writing community … and maybe even post on Instagram when we’re finished!
2:45 to 3:45 p.m. Poetry
with Laura Cyphers
In honor of National Poetry Month, we celebrate the beauty and power of poetry! Poetry has the ability to convey our deepest emotions, generating empathy by revealing the truth of our human experiences. Together, we read a selection of diverse poems that awaken us to new creative possibilities and use them as inspiration to craft our own. Whether you’ve written poetry before or are just curious to see what it’s all about, we invite you to explore the magnitude of poetic language.
4 to 5 p.m. Art & Writing
with Sebrina Gao & Vivian DeRosa
What do you get when an artist and a writer collaborate? An action-packed graphic novel? An abstract painting paired with a genre-defying poem? A whimsical picture book? Yes, yes, and yes—and even more! When creatives collaborate, we enter a whole new world of storytelling possibilities. Join best friends and recent collaborators Sebrina Gao (YoungArts Alum and Entertainment Art student) and Vivian DeRosa (Presidential Scholar in the Arts and creative writer) in this workshop for storytellers. They discuss what it’s like working with other creatives, guide you through combining visual and literary methods to tell stories, and lead exercises designed for both artists and writers. (All are welcome! No past writing or art experience necessary.)
5 p.m. Dinner Break
7 p.m. Open Mic
Your story matters and we want to hear it! This special open mic features the inspiring winners from PWN Teen’s writing contest, Voice & Verse. Join us to support your fellow writers and share your own original work! You can also feel free to just come listen. Pieces shared should be your own work, 500 words or less, and align with PWN’s mission to provide a safe, supportive environment.
Pamela A. Major is the creator and founder of Melia Bloom, a lifestyle services company that empowers people, places, and purpose. Major has a profound belief that in taking the adventure to grow we can always have the delight and opportunity to be better. Major is a dynamic speaker, author, playwright, storyteller, and empowerment coach. She has a unique ability to put into context the needs of an organization or individual and provides practical insights to help them achieve and succeed. One of Major’s most prominent programs is the Viral Vision Adventure (Vi-VA). You can find her at meliabloom.com.
Vivian DeRosa is a writer, blogger, and current student at Smith College. She worked as a Project Write Now intern for two years before founding the Teen Writing Group. She believes that writing and community go hand in hand, and she’s passionate about creating a space where everyone can share their story. She is a Presidential Scholar in the Arts and an Aspen Words Emerging Writer Fellow, and her writing has been published in the Huffington Post, Poets Reading the News, and Lunch Ticket. Currently, she’s working on a novel. When she’s not teaching, Vivian likes reading excellent books and watching terrible TV. You can find her at vivianparkinderosa.com, where she blogs about all things literary.
Luke Herzog, originally from Pacific Grove, California, is a student studying English and Theater at Amherst College in Massachusetts. Luke has written several ten-minute plays and short films, as well as three published sci-fi/fantasy novels—Dragon Valley, Griffin Blade and the Bronze Finger, and Continuum: Collected Stories of Space and Time. In addition, he partnered with a composer classmate to conceive and produce a full-length musical. In 2019, Luke was one of 20 artists in the country chosen as a Presidential Scholar in the Arts and honored at the Kennedy Center. You can find him at www.lukeherzog.com.
Koye Oputa is an 18-year old student living in Baltimore for school. She is constantly eating new foods, learning new perspectives, and discovering that Old Bay seasoning tastes good on nearly everything. She is an intern at Project Write Now and the creative director of the intercollegiate magazine, J. Magazine. She writes for the people who are “bad” and need the hope and love to know that they can be good.
Lisa Hartsgrove is Project Write Now’s program coordinator & writing instructor. She has her MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College and her BA in English from Montclair State University. Lisa has been previously published in the Pitkin Review, the Atlantic Highlands “Herald,” and Collage. In 2019, Lisa won first place in the Laury Egan HBAC Poetry Contest, and in 2014, she took third place in the Jersey Bayshore Writing Contest for a flash fiction piece. She is currently working on her first young adult novel-in-verse and is continuing the “one sentence a day” project she began 2016. (You can follow her one-sentence journey and her art journey on Instagram at spillingmyart.) All of her published work is collected on her website, lisahartsgrove.com.
Laura Cyphers’ passion for writing began in her teens and has continued to inform every aspect of her life since then. She has taught English and creative writing in classrooms, workshops, and the homeschool setting. She is a multi-genre writer but considers poetry her first love and the genre that taught her how to synthesize and organize language: to craft image, energy, and tension to create a particular experience for the reader. As a writing teacher at Project Write Now, her top priority is to provide a safe and enriching environment in which her students can move beyond self-criticism to self-expression, and explore the untamed world of their imaginations. She has been published in The San Diego Poetry Annual and lives in Southwest Virginia with her two dog-children.
Sebrina Gao (@seb.draws) is a second-year Entertainment Arts student at ArtCenter College of Design. She creates believable environments for animation and is interested in using color and mood to tell stories! She loves hiking, driving, and trying all types of food. You can find more of her art at sebrinagao.squarespace.com!