Little writers get lessons from some of the best in the area |

Little writers get lessons from some of the best in the area

They may not wear boots to camp, but they do bring their pens.

Arts-Kids, a Park City-based organization designed to promote kids and their creativity, hosts a creative writing camp this week at Park City Mountain Resort. Children enrolled in the camp are visited by local authors, and, ultimately, create their own pieces of fiction.

Students from the ages of nine to 14 meet daily this week from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to work on their writing skills in a number of different forms. They learn the basics of short story writing, picture books and poetry. They even learn the most important lesson in writing; how to defeat writer’s block.

Daily instruction for the aspiring scribes begins with a chat about their day and their work. They pass around a decorated talking stick and describe their story and any challenges they may be facing.

The rest of the daily session is devoted to instruction at the hands of their camp counselor, Nate Sears, as well as visiting professional writers. Those writers include Stacey Dymalski, a Park City-based screenwriter and director, Nancy Roberts, a retired professor from the University of Illinois creative writing program, and Corrine Humprey, artist and author of the award-winning children’s book "The Tao of Rudy."

Visiting lecturers walk the students through different styles of writing and discuss some of the finer details of the art. Humphrey, for instance, had to explain why the dog in her story was portrayed with no eyes. Because she doesn’t like drawing eyes, she explained, before she went on to tell them about the value and function of artistic style.

At the end of the weeks, students will have created several original pieces of writing including an illustrated short story and some poetry under the tutelage of Sears and the visiting speaker.

This year marks the second that Arts-Kids has offered the writing camp to Parkites. Pat Drewry Sanger began the program, because writing, like other forms of art offers children a chance for self-expression. She also believes that creativity can really boast the emotionality and spirituality of any child. Arts-Kids regularly runs after-school programs during the year to promote such creativity, usually free of charge to any student interested in participating.

Arts-Kids, whose mission it is to use art as a means of driving youth development, has already held four camps this summer and will hold one more. The final camp will invite young women entering middle school to use art as a means of boosting their self-advocacy said Drewry Sanger. Too often, when girls get older, they tend to surrender their individuality for femininity and this camp will use art to boost their self-esteem and hopefully send them into middle school with a developed sense of self.

For more information on any of these programs, call Arts-Kids at 615-7878.

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