WINS Program DescriptionsEndless keys to unlock stories...
Capture students’ attention and open their minds — and hearts — to the delights of reading. “BookMarks!” guides students to explore what they read, apply it to their own lives, and then reinterpret what they’ve read in their own writing. Via activities in both creative writing and creative reading, students will gain first-hand experience working with symbols, allusions, point of view, description, action, voice, diction, and other elements of style that make reading more than just words across a page. As a result, students will identify with reading material in a larger, contextual sense and be encouraged to discover for themselves the power and capabilities of language and literature.
College Essay Course
What says more in a college application than GPA or standardized test scores? A personalized, well-crafted college admissions essay! This course walks students through the particulars of the art of writing their college admissions essay, from deciding on a theme and honing their message, to editing and revising and rewriting. Students can bring an essay already started or start fresh and work from scratch. The course will finalize in personalized statement essay that speaks volumes of the student’s own voice and experience.
Creative Approach to the Write Answers
This creative approach to the written portion of standardized tests engages students while preparing them to excel in writing and editing in a test-taking environment. Several sections can be covered over a residency, or specific segments can be focused on at the needs of the students. The course can cover identifying sentence errors, choosing a better sentence, editing and revising paragraphs, as well as parts of speech and poetic devices.
Finding Yourself in Poetry
Bring accomplished poets to inspire your students to express themselves through poetry! Available for all levels and covering grade-specific poetry TEKS, our workshops are tailored to your class and your students by poets dedicated to encouraging blossoming writers.
Designed for the Express Yourself Poetry Contest.
Read Write Now!
Capture your students’ attention and open their minds — and hearts — to the delights of reading. “Read Write Now!” guides students to explore what they read, apply it to their own lives, and then reinterpret what they’ve read in their own writing. Via activities in both creative writing and creative reading, students will gain first-hand experience working with symbols, allusions, point of view, description, action, voice, diction, and other elements of style that make reading more than just following words across a page. As a result, your students will identify with reading material in a larger, contextual sense and be encouraged to discover for themselves the power and capabilities of language and literature.
The Phantom Tollbooth (4th Grade)
A Wrinkle in Time (4th – 5th Grades)
Wonder (5th – 6th Grades)
Counting by 7s (7th – 8th Grades)
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime (9th – 10th Grades)
The Book Thief (11th – 12th Grades)
The Writer’s Garret has permission from the Trinity Railway Express (TRE) to hold creative writing courses on trains. These courses will provide students with a larger educational opportunity to travel outside the confines of their immediate urban communities to experience the cultural and physical geography of the city of Dallas. The three day college admissions essay workshop will get students started on the first draft of their college admissions essay. Students will review previous essays, look at dos and don’ts of admissions essays as well as focus on simple techniques to get essays started on the ‘write’ path. This unique experience aboard the TRE will provide students with an inspirational, focused experienced that is meant to make the classroom environment come alive.
Note: this is an extended residency program that is best conducted over 3 or more sessions.
The Writer’s Garret has permission from The Dallas Area Rapid Transit System (DART) to hold creative writing courses on trains. These courses will provide students with a larger educational opportunity to travel outside the confines of their immediate urban communities to experience the cultural and physical geography of the city of Dallas. After the writing workshops on the DART, students will visit venues along the rail lines and give five-minute, flash-style readings of their creative work. Venue partnerships include The Nasher Sculpture Center, The Latino Cultural Center, Klyde Warren Park, and Thanks-Giving Square, among many others.
“The Me Nobody Sees” is a creative exploration of the self, using texts from literature (both classic and contemporary), selections of visual artworks, and visual arts/writing exercises for students to write about (and discover) who they are. Students will begin simply with a straightforward expression of their ideas and interests. As the lessons progress, students will dive more deeply and abstractly into themselves, their experiences, and their imaginations, and they will create art pieces that reflect that exploration. The art pieces always involve writing, either as the inspiration for the visual work, as the outcome of the visual work, or as a unified piece incorporating both text and visual art. Beyond self-discovery, the students will become more comfortable with the writing process; they will become more adept at discussing literature, themselves, and the intersection of art and writing; they will learn to present, explain, and defend their ideas; and they will learn to evaluate and re-express their own experiences.
The Elements of Creative Writing
“The Elements of Creative Writing” has long served as the foundation for The Writer’s Garret’s adult education program, training and inspiring writers to produce published — and, in many cases, award-winning — works of fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction. Now, this same course is being made available to teen writers and families who have a strong desire to tell their own stories and give creative expression to their own experiences through the unique artistic medium that is language. Via both regular in-class reading discussions and writing exercises developed by individual writers and geared toward stimulating the imagination, locating a common vocabulary, and generating a sense of effective communication, “The Elements of Creative Writing” offers a comprehensive overview on how to build and sustain a writing practice. Helping novice writers appreciate how writing is both art and craft, the course also provides more experienced writers an opportunity to continue to hone and master essential skills. Participants will have ample opportunities to generate new writing, to learn how to read as a writer, to study the major features of the three major literary genres (poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction), and to participate in group critique. As a residency, this course will culminate with the production of an anthology of student writing and artwork and a public reading of student work.
Literature is the most inspiring art form because it is the root of what defines an art from; every work of art tells a story. “Work of Art” links creative writing with other arts and disciplines to give students a “double-exposure” that is more than just the sum of its parts, providing hands-on experience in ekphrastics, or the art of interpreting art through poetry or prose. Young people will be exposed to a variety of creative exercises stemming primarily from visual and literary arts. In addition to reading and writing about visual art, participants will engage in art-making strategies to encourage personal expression while sharpening critical thinking skills. Ideally, students would have the opportunity to take a field trip to an art gallery or museum, but in lieu of that option, images and articles of art will be displayed.
In an extended residency, “Work of Art” students will have the opportunity to display their own work through three culminating projects: a reading to the public and a printed anthology of their visual and written work.
Our Zine Camp was voted “Best of 2012” by The Dallas Observer. In our in-depth exploration of creative writing and art through zine making, students will create their own zines, learning the tools for written self-expression while cultivating a dynamic artistic and ecological awareness through “found art.” We introduce students to individualized tools for self-expression through writing, graphics, drawing, collage, and printmaking. We also offer “Afterwords” an opportunity to participate in a reading and/or put work on-line.
Note: this is an extended residency program that is best conducted over multiple hours or several sessions.