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Writing for Children: Beauty and the Book (and the Blog)

ENGL 121.401
Tuesdays 1:30-4:30 pm
fulfills requirements:
Elective Seminar of the Standard Major
Creative Writing Seminar Requirement of the Creative Writing Track

We will read our favorite kids’ books, determine the kinds of books we love to read and write, and then write them, aiming at a clear voice appropriate to the story, and as much order or misrule as each writer’s kid-muse demands. For inspiration, we’ll visit the Maurice Sendak Collection at the Rosenbach Museum and Library and have a nostalgia wallow in the kids’ section at the library. Then students write, fast-fast, drafts of stories to workshop, mull and revise. Yes, fun is required. For sure we'll critique, but first we'll try to outrun our interior grown-up! Workshopping happens first with student writer colleagues, and then with the real kids in schools, through our partner West Philadelphia Alliance for Children. Reading to children will give student writers a chance to hear where children laugh, see where they look scared, or notice when they begin to fidget. Returning with revisions will be a promise fulfilled, and an important marker in the literary life of everyone involved. Our class will act as a team of editors, then, to submit stories—-and illustrations by authors and/or kids—-on the upcoming website,