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Penn in London: Writing for Children: Tales of Childhood

ENGL 121.950
instructor(s):
TBA
fulfills requirements:
Sector 6: 20th Century Literature of the Standard Major
Elective Seminar of the Standard Major

Special session with Penn Summer Abroad: 06/15/2019 to 07/20/2019

We will read Roald Dahl, and his autobiography, Boy: Tales of Childhood. The point will be to rediscover nasty and naughty, as well as how, as writers, we mine our own childhoods—not for confession, but for story and meaning, especially children's strong sense of justice, often at odds with adult behavior. Then, we'll travel together to the Roald Dahl Museum in Great Missenden 20 miles outside London. With Dahl as our muse, albeit, an occasionally grumpy one, we will determine what kinds of stories each of us needs to tell and how to structure them. Then, we'll write them, for pre-K, elementary, middle and teen readers, aiming at a clear voice appropriate to the story, and as much order or misrule as each writer’s kid-muse demands. Yes, fun is required. Workshopping happens with student-writer colleagues in pairs and small groups, and then with the real kids. Returning with revisions will be a promise fulfilled, and an important marker in the literary life of everyone involved. A celebration! Tea and cakes are involved.