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An update from our fifty-second Writing Workshop

A summary of the workshop held on Saturday November 6th, plus some of the output published below

At this writing workshop, William went over the concept of art-languages, or languages made up by writers for their stories. Starting off with Lewis Carroll’s classic “Jaberwocky” poem, the class went over some of the words made up by the famous author. The class also looked at examples from James Joyce, watched several videos of people speaking Star Trek’s Klingon language, and read aloud some of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Elvish language from The Lord of the Rings. Lastly, the class read some examples from previous writing workshop of pieces that incorporated real languages and made-up languages

The challenge: Focus on sound and invent words or parts of a language to fit within a story.

The participants: Liam, Peri, Lena, Elbert, Ethan, Faiz, Kina, Samantha, Sierra, Elliott, Rachael, Aditi, Kate, Nami, Grace, Madeline


Designing a Dress

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

Peri Gordon, 12

I paced around the room, inevitably stepping on the precious fabrics I had purchased. Heaps of quem wylven cloel clustered thickly around the heels of the esstappi shoes I was practicing wearing for the upcoming event. Making sense of this clupple snetthoy would not be a shtut ruttel. Knowing I only had a week to design the queen’s heraten gown, I let my voice burst out in waves of doyatere. My mother came running, the soup she was carrying dripping onto her moill shoyanine. She exclaimed, “Resh keru! Yiplash?” But I needed to be alone. After helping wipe the huitren off of her shoyanine, I slammed the door.

I approached my sutrebenishien, which was laden with plashti. They glimmered in the sunlight that came through the potoshoo. I sorted through them. How would I choose my favorite?

Finally, the idea came to me: Using the wylven cloel I had stepped on as a base for the dress, I would yertin in each sparkly fabric separately. I would be done in less than a week, and the result would be absolutely resenden. I took out my toz and got to work.


Quem – (Of a fabric) Shiny and white
Wylen – Woven with an elaborate pattern involving swirls
Cloel – A thick fabric composed of grass, wool, and rose petals
Esstapi – Overly fancy at the expense of one’s safety
Clupple – Making one likely to trip and fall
Snetthoy – A comedically disorganized room
Shtut ruttel – Piece of cake
Heraten – The coronation of a king or queen’s child
Doyatere – Sincere distress
Moill – A dull and murky shade of brown
Shoyanine – A dress made with a fabric at least two centimeters thick
Resh keru – Good heavens
Yiplash – What is the matter
Huitren – An edible plant often used in soup
Sutrebenishien – Intricately carved desk
Plashti – Sparkly fabrics
Potoshoo – A triangular window
Yertin – Sew in a braided pattern
Resenden – Divinely beautiful
Toz – A very sharp needle, reserved for the most intricate sewing


Nami Gajcowski, 11
Seattle, WA


Nami Gajcowski, 11

Filligri is the name of the lillipads on the bright summer’s day.
Mooran is the frog sitting on the Filligri.
Swog is the flies that the frog is eating.
Ligth is the word for the wings on the fly, letting it go aloft.
Floof is the word for cloud that the wings brush.
Allgen is the word for sky which the clouds clutch.
Rrum is the airplane.
Zram is it’s engine.
Glockenrn is the mechanics to make that engine.
Zendgle is their tools.
Track is the name of houses built by those tools.
Swindlgrog is the name of the tree in the front yard.
Smissslfinddle is the name of a forest of those trees.
Mrusgsgu is the name of the swamp next to that forest.
And Filligri is the name of the lillipads in a bright summer’s day.

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