Here is the plan.
Find ten students, ages 11-18, who want to be writers and want to be treated like real, professional writers.
As all students should.
Some might want to begin their first novel. A few may have a college essay in need of completion. Perhaps there is a poet or two in the mix. A future journalist. Maybe even a screenwriter.
Assemble these students for a summer writing academy. Teach them to write by treating them like real writers. Allow them to write whatever they want and need to write with the understanding that every word committed to paper could earn them a living someday.
Professional writers find audiences. Professional writers get paid. This is what I want for all my students, including the ones I hope to teach in summer academy.
Teach them the craft. The art. The nuts and bolts. The business of writing. Teach them how to write. Teach them to find something to write about. Teach them how find an audience, query an agent and sell their material.
Invite real life authors to speak to them. Novelists. Journalists. Poets. Screenwriters. Invite literary agents to chat. Maybe even an editor or two.
Writing instruction from actual writers.
Teach these kids to write like professionals and demand that they be treated like professionals. Send them forth with the skills, the passion and the understand about what it takes to be a writer.
This is my plan.
I need ten students.
I won’t be teaching the academy for free. I could be working on any one of my three current manuscripts, but I find myself excited about this idea. I’m willing to place my own writing on the back burner for a month to see what these students can become.
But it will be worth every penny.
Here are the details:
Four weeks of instruction in July.
July 8 through August 2.
Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9:00 AM until 1:00 PM.
48 total hours of instruction plus non-contact hours spent reviewing the students work and two hours of one-on-one meetings before and after the academy with parents and students.
The first meeting, which will take place during the first week of the academy, establishes goals for the student.
The second meeting, at the conclusion of the academy, reviews in detail the strengths and weaknesses of each student. We prepare a plan for the student’s writing future. What should the student continue to work on? How should this happen? What should it look like?
After four weeks, my hope is that each student will have taken an important step in the life of a professional writer. A path will be designed for the future. The student will have the beginnings of a novel, the start of a poetry collection, a college essay or a piece to submit to newspapers and magazines.
Maybe all three.
This is my plan.
I need ten students to make this work.
Classes will be held in a library in West Hartford, CT.
Anyone interested? Anyone know anyone who might be interested?
Please pass on the word.