REGISTER NOW FOR WINTER CLASSES 2021
MONDAY CLASSES FROM JANUARY – MARCH 2021
2nd – 7th graders
After a successful Fall 2020, Winter 2021 registration is now open for virtual creative writing classes on Mondays, the planning/intervention days for Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS).
Students will conduct fun writing activities and write short stories with multi-dimensional characters, zany plots, and settings inspired by magic, science fiction, history, and real-world examples. Using the same approach and as our in-school creative writing classes, students will have fun and hone their writing skills. Because each class will be 1.5 hours, we will have more time each week to write, review, and provide feedback. Plus, we’ll have time for some fun social breaks too (online, of course). We will continue to use Zoom Video Conferencing, with our established security protocols.
Once registration is complete, we will place students into appropriate groupings (mostly by age or grade). And don’t worry, we can always move a student from Option A (9 am) to Option B (10:45 am) or Option C (12:30 pm). If you have any questions or specific requests, please e-mail us.
WINTER SESSION – GRADES 2-7
January – March 2021
Every Monday (excluding holidays)
Option A: 9:00 am – 10:30 am
Option B: 10:45 am – 12:15 pm
Option C: 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm
2nd – 6th Graders
Cost – $195 per student
Please complete the registration form and pay via Paypal
(Use the same forms and payment for either Option A, B, or C.)
Important Note: To complete registration, you must complete the Google Registration Form AND Pay via PayPal. Please note that we’re a small business, and we hire and train our staff based on our registrations, so we can’t offer refunds.
QUESTIONS ABOUT CLASS & CAMP
Q – How is the class structured? What are the teacher-student ratios?
A – Each class includes lead teachers and experienced teaching assistants, so the ultimate teacher-student ratios are close to 5:1. This way, students are able to brainstorm, share ideas, and work on editing in small groups. We also offer 1-on-1 sessions for every student, so each child gets personalized feedback in a supportive, constructive way.
Q – What topics will you cover?
A – Generally, elementary-aged children gravitate to fantasy and science fiction, so we always cover some of those genres. At their requests, we have also covered horror, mystery, historical fiction, and realistic fiction. We even held a recent session on dystopian fiction, with students ranging from age 7 to 12, and it was surprisingly successful. While the older students wrote fully-developed characters that were raging against the multi-faceted government, the younger students wrote about how the dystopian government changed all healthy food to pizza, with hysterical unintended consequences that the main character had to handle.
Q – What if my child is not a great writer or doesn’t love writing?
A – We have taught students of all abilities and interests. Our low teacher-student ratio allows us to mix it up, with small break-out groups and one-on-one sessions, to work with every child. Plus, our approach focuses on the inherent fun of using your imagination, and it works! We allow the students to change the “scientist” prompt to develop zombies in the lab, to mix historical fiction and science fiction genres in one story (you’d be amazed when their aliens or time travelers landed), or to dive deeply into the character development of their dog-turned-alien or three-headed flower monster.
Q – What if my child is already a really good writer?
A – We also work closely with the more developed writers who have already conquered the basics of mechanics and storytelling. For them, we may analyze character arcs, how to use dialogue to move the story along, and/or how to wrap up the plot with a satisfying ending that ties up all the loose ends (and clues they may have distributed throughout the story). For these students, they enjoy the inspiring prompts and opportunity to learn from each other and the experienced teachers.
Q – What if my child has taken a class or camp with you before? Will she be bored?
A – Many of our students repeat because they love our programs! We change it up for every session, which makes it more interesting for the teachers and the students. Plus, because we’re a small business, with extensive experience teaching creative writing to this age group, we can consider the students’ needs and tailor our programming accordingly.
If you have any questions, please e-mail us. We are very passionate about what we do, and we’re happy to talk to you about it. If you want to receive our e-mails, we can put you on our list for announcements too.
After years of onsite classes and camps in Vienna elementary schools (since 2013), we completed our first virtual two-week Creative Writing Summer Camp in June 2020, and it was a great success! Students brainstormed, planned, wrote, reviewed, edited, and finalized stories across a myriad of genres. Plus, they participated in creative writing lessons, small group discussions, one-on-one feedback sessions, and opportunities to share their stories aloud. They laughed, they learned, and they had fun!
Each session included 21 students, one lead teacher, and six co-teachers. Yes, that’s right — SEVEN staff for 21 students! Every staff member has extensive creative writing experience, training through Kondé Strategies on our positive approach to writing, and a great attitude with the kids. Most of our teachers have been with us for 4-6 years too!
When we had to go virtual, we pivoted quickly. The silver lining? With the support of community leaders and parents helping us to spread the word, we have now provided virtual creative writing instruction to students across Falls Church, Vienna, Oakton, Reston, and Herndon! Classes and camps have included students from Westbriar, Louise Archer, Marshall Road, Cunningham Park, Colvin Run, Spring Hill, Flint Hill, Vienna, Wolftrap, Freedom Hill, Shrevewood, Westlawn, Lemon Road, Oakton, Waples Mill, Mosby Woods, McNair, Hunters Woods, and Sunrise Valley elementary schools, as well as a few local private schools and others from farther away.
Once Fairfax County Public Schools decided to make Mondays asynchronous days, we knew we should offer Fall 2020 classes then. In the end, we taught more than 60 students in our 9:00 am, 10:45 am, and 12:30 pm classes. We even included a middle grades session for longer story writing!
- At the request of parents, we offered afternoon sessions for our last session of Summer Camp, from August 3-7, 2020.
- We had a full Summer Camp from July 27 – 31, 2020, where students wrote “Mystery in the Country” stories, created and performed dragon-themed skits, developed their own magical creatures, and celebrated Harry Potter’s birthday.
- We had a smaller group in the July 6-10, 2020 Summer Camp, so students enjoyed small teacher-led groups of three students each and more opportunities for one-on-one feedback and editing.
- Summer Camp finished on June 26, 2020 with almost 40 students sharing their stories and celebrating their creativity!
SPRING 2020 CLASSES:
- 2nd – 6th Grade Students – Fridays, May 1st – June 5th – 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm
- 4th – 6th Grade Students – Fridays, April 10th – May 29th – 11:15 am – 12:15 pm
- 2nd – 3rd Grade Students – Fridays, April 10th – May 29th – 10:00 am – 11:00 am
After our spring online classes filled up, parents asked us to create more classes, so we did! Then those filled up too. Then we created a few options for summer camp too, and those filled up! So then we offered more summer camp sessions and Monday classes for Fall 2020 as well! Thank you to all the parents and students who promoted our classes and camps, registered their students, and enjoyed creative writing with us.