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An update from our seventieth Writing Workshop

A summary of the workshop held on Saturday, October 8, plus some of the output published below

During today’s workshop, we discussed one of the most fundamental aspects of creative literature: point of view! We kicked things off with a brief five-minute diary reading in which Nova, Ava, and Pearl shared their brilliant work. The students learned all about the different classifications of ‘point of view,’ from the omniscient third person to the limited first person, and we studied both classic and modern samples of this concept in action. Some examples included The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, Moby Dick by Herman Melville, and Olivia Lee’s story "The Note," featured in last month’s issue.

The students were first challenged to write from either the limited perspective of a single character or from the all-knowing perspective of an omniscient outside narrator. Pearl, Reethi, and Ava shared. Finally, we were challenged to the task of writing a single story from two distinctly different points of view. The participants were given 15 minutes to write from one perspective, and then 15 minutes to write from a different point of view. Pearl, Yueling, Reethi, Peri, Rachael, and Ava all read their fantastic work. Scroll down below to see what the young writers came up with!

The Challenge: Write a single story with two points of view changing after 15 minutes.

The Participants: Ava, Pearl, Peri, Anya, Celia, Crystal, Greta, Yueling, Nami, Nova, Rachael, Reethi


Blame the Squirrels

Peri Gordon, 12

Eleanor:

It was a summer day, but a dreary summer day, when my older sister, sixteen-year-old Priscilla, came home with a pear and made the dreary day a thrilling one. The sun, a constant cause of misery, was worth it when the light met the fruit, allowing it to glow like the beacon of hope that it was. We had been living off of no more than bread and water for so long I had stopped keeping track, and the prospect of something smooth and sweet on my tongue was
almost more than my mind could handle.
     I didn’t know where my sister got this juicy, green treasure, but I knew her intention was to keep it for herself, as that’s surely what I would have done in her situation. In fact, she was smiling to herself, just waiting to devour the treat. I knew that if I didn’t intervene, I might never get to bite into a pear; I might starve to death before I could.
     So that night, with only the stars awake to witness my treachery (the stars are mischievous themselves and will certainly approve, I thought), I crept into the dragon’s den: Priscilla’s room. It was too easy, the prize lying exposed on my sister’s desk. I sank my teeth in.
     Then I opened the window, so my sister would wake up and blame the squirrels.
     Nobody would have to know.

Priscilla:

It was a summer day, a beautiful summer day, because my English teacher rewarded me with a pear for my exceptional essay, and I could give the pear to Eleanor, my younger sister and greatest joy. The plan was to make it a birthday present, as she would turn seven in two days, but as I walked through the door, I knew from the look in my sister’s eyes that she saw the object I was holding behind my back and would not wait to bite in.
     I smiled to myself, knowing what Eleanor would do. She was young and impatient, and she had stolen many times before. And that was alright with me. It was our parents’ job to teach her not to steal, not mine.
     So that night, I stayed awake in bed, wanting to see her take that heavenly first bite. I saw her tiptoe in on her tiny feet, a little mouse with golden hair. I saw the utter bliss on her face as the taste of the pear sank into her mouth.
     Then she opened the window, thinking I would wake up and blame the squirrels.
     It was adorable, really, how she was oblivious enough to think that I was oblivious.

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