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An update from our fifty-ninth Writing Workshop

A summary of the workshop held on Saturday, February 19th, plus some of the output published below

In this workshop, William emphasized the importance of rhythm in pieces of writing. The participants looked at pieces that utilize iambic pantameter and other well-known rhythmic standards. William also touched upon the comparison to music, and how reading a piece and stopping for breath is not dissimilar to playing an instrument and having to stop to breathe. The writers then went into a small writing exercise where they were challenged to write something in the vein of the famous opening line from Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities.

The Challenge: Write a piece that focuses on phrasing with arcs, the rise and fall of speech, repetition, and heart-beat rhythm.

The Participants: Liam, Agatha, Yueling, Kelby, Lauren, Peri, Elbert, Kate, Lena, Rachael, Anya, Iago


Peri Gordon
Peri Gordon, 11
Sherman Oaks, CA

Heart Leaps, Heart Sinks

Peri Gordon, 12

Alarm. Ding! Heart leaps, leaps, leaps as I bound out of bed in a hurry, ready for a brand new day.

School. Remember? Heart sinks, sinks, sinks as I slide down the stairs.

Scent. Pancakes! Heart leaps, tongue licks lips. Sound. Bus! Heart sinks, feet spring into action. Scurry scurry after bus—it sails away. Heart sinks lower, feel its absence in my chest.

Feel my heart in my throat, feel it in my stomach, feel it in my legs. Legs run faster, time slows down. Streets seems longer, I seem shorter. Need to relax. Breathe, breathe. Breathe in, breathe out. Deep breath in, deep breath out. I inhale, I exhale. Slowly, calmly, I evaluate the situation.

Cars zip by on the street next to me, so much faster than I. Sounds of horns blarethrough my ears, and sounds of wind soothe them. Tons of noise melts into white noise all at once. My heart leaps as the familiar sight of my home fills my vision, and sinks as I realize my parents have already left for work. The sun smirks at me. I have dreams, dreams of becoming an astronaut, dreams of soaring through space and viewing the sun up close, but how can I reach the blinding ball of fire in the sky when I cannot even reach school? The white noise hardens, jeering at me, and I cover my ears. Stop. Just stop worrying? I don’t know. You can’t get to school, you won’t. You won’t, you won’t, you won’t. You can’t.

Heart sinks, sinks, sinks. Feel its absence in even my legs.



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