Hi! My name is Gretchen Barkhuff and I am excited to be the new Education and Development intern here at PEN/ Faulkner. This summer I will be helping to organize and lead the Summer Writing Workshops for high school students as part PEN/ Faulkner’s Writers in Schools program. Before the workshops get underway, I wanted to take a quick moment to introduce why I chose to work with PEN/ Faulkner this summer.

I believe that the most amazing thing about stories and literature is their ability to spark meaningful, reflective conversations between people that might not happen otherwise. This is especially important among young people who may not have been told that their voices and ideas are important. Moreover, I find literature to be a useful tool for helping people of any age to think critically about who they are in relation to others. This is why I am so thrilled to start working with PEN/Faulkner’s summer program: it puts the transformative power of telling and sharing stories to work. Every week the students will converse with and respond to published authors. They will also write their own narratives and listen to those of their classmate’s. Most importantly, the summer workshop as a whole will underscore that their voices matter.

This should be an exciting summer. Make sure to check back weekly to learn about what activities we are doing and to follow the students’ progress.

The start of the PEN/Faulkner Summer Writing Workshop is about ten days away! If you’d like more information on the program, or would like to download the (short) application, please click here.