Annually in the spring, the School for Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA), here in Cincinnati, offers a creative writing workshop, Community of Stories (preregistration required.)
Yesterday was their fifth annual event of Community of Stories and my fourth year attending. Setting aside writing rules, this event’s focus is to share our diverse perspectives and life stories. It joins a cross-section of our community as we come together as one with hope, support, and encouragement.
Under the guidance of writing mentors, we divvied up into small groups, each with about ten people. We had groups in poetry, fiction, and I participated in the memoir group. Comprised with many students from its school and area high-schools, this event is open to the community.
Our day encompassed writing prompts, quiet time for writing, then sharing our writing with open discussion. I’m amazed how these young students can make a first draft look like a third draft. My writing feels choppy to me if I compare myself. Rather, I realize my writing is but a jumping off point for me. More so, I learn so much from these students. Their views of our society and community, their hopes and dreams, and their desire for growth in themselves and others is an inspiration to me.
Following this group time, we all came together in the school’s auditorium. Those who wished to, shared their writing from the podium.
Each year following this Community of Stories event, SCPA publishes a chap book. Those who wish too, have their writing included in this literary journal. And each year, we wait patiently for this journal, which comes out in print shortly before our next annual get-together.
A Community of Stories: Seeds of Change
A Community of Stories: Dream of Change
“Who?” (fictionalized memoir).
A Community of Stories: On the Wings of Change
“Transformation is About Becoming Who I Am” (reflective essay).
(and) “Forest” (poem co-written with Isa Walker).
A Community of Stories: Speaking Our Silences
(Editor’s choice, to be determined).
A big thank you to those who shared their day with me! -Elle-