Butler University’s English Department has created the Butler Bridge Program, a series designed to improve the writing ability of students in grades 3-12.
The program will feature small get-togethers with noted writers such as John Green, Ben Winters and Alessandra Lynch, and activities such as Writing Club and Word Game Night.
“We developed the Butler Bridge Program because we saw a demand for programs similar to Butler’s popular Summer Creative Writing Camp,” program coordinator Mindy Dunn said. “Campers wanted programming that would be offered during the academic year, not just once a summer.”
To register for the programs, go to http://www.butler.edu/english/writing-camp/butler-bridge/.
Here’s a schedule of events, all of which take place in Butler’s Efroymson Center for Creative Writing, 530 W. Hampton Drive, except where noted.
Writing Club: Second Saturdays
Our “Second Saturday” writing club meets monthly at the Efroymson Center for Creative Writing. Each Saturday session includes Poetry, Fiction, and/or Creative Nonfiction lessons. Students meet with peers and a college mentor who leads the workshop, engaging the students in thoughtful discussion about writing. These workshops also allow young writers the opportunity to bring in writing and have it reviewed by both the college mentor and by peers. Note: This is not class! Workshops will offer a fun, energetic environment for growing creative writers. Second Saturday sessions and open workshops will be split up by three different age divisions: elementary, middle, and high school.
Saturday, Oct. 13
*Saturday, Nov. 10 *Meet in Jordan Hall 301 this date
Saturday, Dec. 8
Cost: $10 per session. Open to all age groups
Word Game Night
Friday, Sept. 14, 7-8:30 p.m.
Open to all students
Calling all wordsmiths! Put your vocabulary to the test on our tournament-style word game night. Call up all your Bridge friends and challenge them to a game of Bananagrams, Last Word, Apples to Apples and more. You’re sure to walk away with some prize-worthy words that you can use in your stories and poems. Treats included.
Armadillos, Dreams and rums with Alessandra Lynch
Saturday, Sept. 29, 1-3 p.m.
Grades 3-5, seat limit of 15 students.
Crazy for poetry? This workshop will give you the chance to read, write and prattle about poetry to your heart’s content. We will focus on the armadillos, dreams, and drums which help to give poems their power. Bring your favorite notebook and writing implements, and be prepared for the world to shift into new shapes and hues.
The Fiction Machine with Ben Winters
Each Friday night in October, 4:30-6 p.m.
Cost: $75 for all four sessions
Grades 8-12, seat limit of 12 students
This workshop is designed to address the all-too-familiar complaint: “I can’t think of anything to write about.” All kids live in dramatic worlds of mystery, anxiety, joy, and heartache. Every young writer has had unique experiences, and our goal in this 4-week workshop will be to throw those truths into the Fiction Machine and see what comes out. We’ll talk about the ways in which even the most non-autobiographical fiction writing might be rooted in true experiences. Along the way, students will learn to see their own lives as a field of possibilities waiting to be harvested and that inspiration is all around.
Hallowriting with Ben Winters
Saturday, Oct. 27, 8:30-10 p.m.
Grades 6-8, seat limit of 20 students.
Love the thrill of scary stories? How about scary poems? Join us for a truly spooktacular night in the spirit of the season. Hear some poems from Ben’s forthcoming book of scary poems and do some “frightful” writing of your own. Wear a costume if you dare!
Meet the Author Book Club: The Secret Life of Ms. Finkleman, by Ben Winters
Saturday, Nov. 17, 1:30-2:30 p.m.
Cost: $30, book included
Open to all students
Just your average middle-school punk rock detective novel! A plucky seventh grader named Bethesda is determined to find out the hidden truth about her boring Music Fundamentals teacher. Soon the whole school is in a rock and roll frenzy, with Bethesda, Ms. Finkleman, and a pop-music obsessive named Tenny Boyer leading the charge.
Read the Edgar-Award nominated novel and then get a behind-the-scenes chance to discuss it with the author himself! Book will be mailed to your home address upon registration.
Capstone Event with John Green
Saturday, Dec. 15, 6-8 p.m.
Open to all ages. Seat limit of 50 students.
More information coming soon.
**Due to acute interest in this event, priority will be given to students who have registered for another Bridge workshop or writing club, on a first-come-first served basis.
Capstone Open Mic
Friday, Dec. 21, 7-8:30 p.m.
Of course the perfect way to wrap up a season of writing is with an open mic. You are the star of the show when you share your writing with an audience of family and friends. Sign up with Coordinator Mindy Dunn by submitting the piece you wish to read along with how many minutes it will take to read aloud. Don’t forget to practice your reading for the perfect delivery on your big night. First come, first served until time is full.
For more information on private tutoring, the Butler Bridge staff and how to register, visit http://www.butler.edu/english/writing-camp/butler-bridge/ or email coordinator Mindy Dunn at firstname.lastname@example.org.