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

ENGL 121.401
crosslisted as: AFRC 121
instructor(s):
Wednesday 2:00-5:00

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 blogsite, Medium.com/Safe-Kids-Stories: "to see safety, peace, and non-violence with teh clarity and imagination with which we now see danger."