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An update from our fifty-first Writing Workshop

A summary of the workshop held on Saturday October 23rd, plus some of the output published below

For this workshop, William introduced the concept of Apophenia, which is when one takes differing, unrelated concepts and ties them together through stories. We took a look at some “chance poems” by Tristan Tzara. We also listened to some pieces of music by John Cage, including his famous 4’33 piece.

The challenge: Using an online random word generator, each writer chose 8 verbs that they were challenged to incorporate into a story.

The participants: Ethan, Liam, Jonathan, Peri, Lena, Sierra, Kate, Faiz, Madeline, Elbert, Marissa, Samantha, Rachael, Kina



Peri Gordon
Peri Gordon, 11
(Sherman Oaks, CA)

Peri Gordon, 12

(The words I had to use: Reject, regret, repeat, request, reflect, result, report, restrict)

I reject

My regrets.
I repeat
My request
To myself
Not to feel,
Not to think.
About stress.

Though I ought
To reflect
On my mess
Of distress
Can’t reflect
On regret
Now my life

Just repeats
To the beat
I have set,
Though on my hopes
I wouldn’t bet.

It results
In repeating
My reports
To myself
That better days
Will come
But there’s really
Just regret

I succumb
To repeating
The same thoughts:
“Don’t reflect”
“No regrets”
Keep them buried
Keep them hidden
Stay erect.

I succumb
To restricting
My real thoughts
Of regret.
Don’t reflect.
Keep them buried.
Keep them hidden.
Stay erect. 

Being Lonely

Lena D., 12
Coarsegold, CA

by Lena De Napoli

I stared out my window, glancing at the road. There were no cars. No leaves blowing in the wind. And no noise. It all felt empty. The shadows in my room cast giant, ghostly, figures that loomed against me. There was no way of escaping. Rain poured down into my heart, and made the tears fall from my eyes. Barely breathing, I grabbed my purple coat, and headed outside. I didn’t care if I would get soaked. I didn’t care if my hair was unprotected. I didn’t care about the way the wind blew, making it impossible to breathe. I didn’t care about anything. I rushed into the forest, knowing that my shoes were soaked by now, but I ignored it. My life would be over soon. I kept running anyway. The wet leaves stuck to my sneakers as I ran. The river started to flow downstream, and I was almost positive that I was being followed. But I still ran. The trees were blowing rapidly against the wind, holding as tight as they could. The rain was pouring heavier, followed by snow. I had to find shelter, and fast.

Suddenly, I stopped.

I looked up, glancing at the top of the trees. They were so beautiful and powerful. How had I missed this? That nature is so magnificent and all this time I had been seeing only the blue screen of a cell phone?

I kept running, but I decided to go slower this time.

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