AMPLIFIED

Virtual Summer Writing Program for Teens
AMPLIFIED is an opportunity for teens to grow as writers while connecting with others in a safe space. This summer, teens can sign up to participate in as many workshop sessions as they want. From book club discussions to comedy writing to plot and character in fiction to personal statement coaching to an exploration of #OwnVoices–there’s a session for every writer! 

MULTI-WEEK WRITING WORKSHOP

Writing Workshop (Ages 13-18)
A writing workshop is a community of writers who deepen their writing practice by sharing work-in-progress and receiving feedback from the group. Many writers of all levels—from beginners to prize-winning published writers—a part of a writing workshop. If you’re a serious writer who wants to learn from others, join our summer writing workshop. We’ll meet on Fridays for seven sessions to exchange our writing and learn from one another. Workshop size is limited. 

Date: Fridays, June 5 – July 24 (No Session on July 3)
Time: 1pm – 2:30pm
Location: Virtual; Register for Link


June 1-5
Week Theme: It’s All in the Details   

The Worst of the Worst: How to Learn from Bad Writing (Ages 14-18)
Like a car accident on the highway, bad writing hurts to look at yet it’s hard to turn away. But we can learn from bad writing, too, and discover ways to make our writing shine by reading the car crashes on the page.

Date: Monday, June 1
Time: 1pm – 2pm
Location: Virtual; Register for Link

Book of Awesome (Ages 14-18)
How do we end up with awesome writing? Through awesome details! In this session, you’ll learn how to add details and descriptions to your words that make your writing come alive on the page.

Date: Tuesday, June 2
Time: 1pm – 2pm
Location: Virtual; Register for Link

Nat’s Book Chat (Ages 13-16)
In this session, you get to chat it up about everything bookish. Expect conversations about your favorite genres of literature, some of the most fascinating books you’ve read, your least favorite reads, and your favorite authors. And, of course, a bit of talk about recent book-to-screen adaptations! What about new releases? Favorite book covers? Preference of paperback or hardcover? The book chat is open for bookish discussion. 

Date: Wednesday, June 3
Time: 11am – 11:30am
Location: Virtual; Register for Link

The Voices of Animals (Ages 14-18)
Writers often inhabit other people on the page–but what about imaging the world through the eyes of an animal? In this session, you will learn how writers use literary devices such as personification, metaphor, and anthropomorphism to experience the world differently in their work. 

Date: Wednesday, June 3
Time: 1pm – 2pm
Location: Virtual; Register for Link

Outside the Box: On Structure (Ages 14-18)
A good story doesn’t always follow an expected format. In this session, we’ll explore the ways writers play with structure, from stories written in the format of a dictionary entry to those who have taken inspiration from the format of a recipe–all in service to the story. 

Date: Thursday, June 4
Time: 1pm – 2pm
Location: Virtual; Register for Link


June 8-12
Week Theme: Crack Open Your Writing

Bookish: The Online Book Community (Ages 13-16)
Learn the How-Tos and the ins and outs of becoming a member of the social book community online. You’ll learn about different platforms where you can express your interest and love of books, including Bookstagram, Booktube, and Book Twitter, and how each platform opens up different ways of loving, appreciating, and nerding out about all things books while actively giving space to fellow readers and writers to interact. In the name of all literature, these online forums are the perfect places for a book lover to be.

Date: Monday, June 8
Time: 11am – 11:30am
Location: Virtual; Register for Link

Make Them Smile! Make Them Laugh! (Ages 14-18)
Life can really suck, but it helps to laugh about it. In this session, you’ll learn tools and tricks for how to make a joke out of (almost) anything hard in your life. Please note: Our workshop sessions are safe spaces open to all young writers. We will ask that writers approach joke and humor writing with thoughtfulness and sensitivity that does not rely on stereotypes or offensive language directed at marginalized groups. 

Date: Monday, June 8
Time: 1pm – 2pm
Location: Virtual; Register for Link

Show, Don’t Tell (Ages 14-18)
To really understand someone or something, you need to see it in action. Writers are often instructed to “Show, don’t tell” in their writing. In this session, we will work with lists to learn how we can show emotions and narrative truths through actions, visuals, consequences, objects, and settings. Because once we can show it, then our readers are more likely to believe it! 

Date: Tuesday, June 9
Time: 1pm – 2pm
Location: Virtual; Register for Link

Nat’s Book Chat (Ages 13-16)
In this session, you get to chat it up about everything bookish. Expect conversations about your favorite genres of literature, some of the most fascinating books you’ve read, your least favorite reads, and your favorite authors. And, of course, a bit of talk about recent book-to-screen adaptations! What about new releases? Favorite book covers? Preference of paperback or hardcover? The book chat is open for bookish discussion. 

Date: Wednesday, June 10
Time: 11am – 11:30am
Location: Virtual; Register for Link

The Big Three of Small Fiction (Ages 14-18)
Who has time to read anymore? There are plenty of literary journals that only publish shorter pieces, but how do you tell a compelling story in less than 700 words? Whether you call it flash fiction, quick fiction, or mini-fiction, learn how to write a (very!) short story that still has all the depth and emotion of a longer piece.

Date: Wednesday, June 10
Time: 1pm – 2pm
Location: Virtual; Register for Link

Creative Twists! (Ages 14-18)
A good story keeps the reader turning the pages. A strong writer knows how to make things happen so readers don’t get bored, and plenty of books rely on plot twists. Learn how to keep your readers on their toes, whether you’re writing fantasy or science fiction, a murder mystery, or a story about a person on a journey and a stranger who came to town.

Date: Thursday, June 11
Time: 1pm – 2pm
Location: Virtual; Register for Link


June 15-19:
Week Theme: Telling Great Stories

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night (Ages 14-18)
Artists might be comfortable with a blank canvas, but your story has to take place somewhere. Setting–the when and the where–is the backbone of your writing, whether you’re writing a realistic story set in your neighborhood, a fantasy novel on a faraway planet, or telling the story of a queen who lost her head in medieval England. Together, we’ll look at how writers create strong settings using details and figurative language, and how setting can help establish mood in a piece of writing. This is a two-session workshop. Writers are strongly encouraged to attend all days.

Dates: Monday, June 15 – Tuesday, June 16
Time: 1pm-2pm
Location: Virtual; Register for Link

Imperfect People (Ages 14-18)
Like real people, real characters are flawed. They have sides that are amazing; then, they are their dark, complicated, and even dangerous sides. In this two-part workshop, you’ll cover the ins and outs of creating three-dimensional, textured characters for your writing project and how to make even your worst characters redeemable. This is a two-session workshop. Writers are strongly encouraged to attend all days.

Dates: Wednesday, June 17 – Thursday, June 18
Time: 1pm-2pm
Location: Virtual; Register for Link


June 22-26
Week Theme: Personal Statements / Making It Personal 

The Ins and Outs for Writing a Great Personal Statement (Ages 14-18)
The dreaded words: personal statement. Colleges require them, but what does it mean to write one, and how do you even begin to talk about yourself? In this four-part workshop, we’ll help you make an impact with your words and help you tell a transformative, powerful story about yourself. Whether you’re getting ready to apply for colleges now or in a couple of years, this workshop will fire up your creativity to make your personal statement stand out. This is a four-session workshop. Writers are strongly encouraged to attend all days.

Dates: Monday, June 22 – Thursday, June 25
Time: 1pm – 2pm
Location: Virtual; Register for Link


June 29 – July 1
Week Theme: Other Voices, Other Worlds

A Whole New World (Ages 14-18)
Tatooine. Hogwarts. Middle-earth. Asgard. Even Katniss’s 13 districts. These are places that didn’t exist before a talented writer made them up. Now, it’s your turn. In this session, we will review the characteristics that make for strong world-building and learn how to make another new world, one that might be as loved as Oz or Narnia. 

Dates: Monday, June 29
Time: 1pm – 2pm
Location: Virtual; Register for Link

#OwnVoices (Ages 14-18)
Who does a story belong to? Do you have the right to speak from the voice of a culture that isn’t yours? Is it even your story to tell? In this workshop, we’ll discuss and learn about how writers navigate the waters of cultural misappropriation versus cultural representation, American Dirt controversy, and campaigns like #WeNeedDiverseBooks and #OwnVoices. 

Dates: Tuesday, June 30
Time: 1pm – 2pm
Location: Virtual; Register for Link

Magical Realism (Ages 14-18)
What does it take to write about magic and make your readers believe that it exists, in this world, right now?! Harry Potter is one approach to magic, but what about the next door neighbor who can talk to her cat, or the little kid in the front of the bus with glowing ears? In this session, you will practice how to create magic in writing that is both fantastical and believable. 

Dates: Wednesday, July 1
Time: 1pm – 2pm
Location: Virtual; Register for Link


July 6-9
Week Theme: Journeys

Environmental Writing (Ages 14-18)
Are you worried about climate change? Is Greta Thunberg your personal hero? We should stop and smell the roses, and write about them! In this session, you’ll learn how to best write about the beauty of nature, the chaos that can exist within that same natural world, and our environmental impact on the ecosystems around us–and how to use your write to fight for environmental justice and change. 

Dates: Monday, July 6
Time: 1pm – 2pm
Location: Virtual; Register for Link

Me, Myself, and I (Ages 14-18)
Writing about yourself is hard, maybe unless you’re a famous celebrity who drives fancy cars and wears all the best clothes. But you don’t have to be famous to have something interesting to say about your life. Using personal photographs, you’ll learn how to write a detailed piece about yourself. 

Dates: Tuesday, July 7
Time: 1pm – 2pm
Location: Virtual; Register for Link

Chat with a Book Editor (Ages 14-18)
What, exactly, do book editors do? What does their job look like? How do editors interact with writers and others in the publishing community? You’ll have an opportunity to talk with editors from a publishing house and literary magazine about their role in bringing writing to the page. 

Dates: Wednesday, July 8
Time: 1pm – 2pm
Location: Virtual; Register for Link

Author Visit (Ages 14-18)
In this session, you’ll meet writer Kenechi Uzor and have the opportunity to talk to him about his writing and his journey to becoming a writer. Kenechi’s essay “This Hell Not Mine” was published in the anthology A Map Is Only One Story, a collection on immigration, family, and the meaning of home. Other writing has appeared in Electric Literature, The Millions, Catapult, Litro Magazine, and Afridiaspora. He has worked as an editor, a journalist, a librarian, and a publisher. 

Dates: Thursday, July 9
Time: 1pm – 2pm
Location: Virtual; Register for Link


July 13-16
Week Theme: You Talkin’ To Me?

Whose Story It Is? Point of View in Writing (Ages 14-18)
Every piece of writing has a point of view, and every story is told from someone’s  perspective. But what if the story of Little Red Riding Hood was told by the Wolf? Or Hamilton was told entirely by Aaron Burr? In this workshop, we’ll show you how to shapeshift into another point of view, whether you’re writing fiction, poetry, songs, or something else. This is a two-session workshop. Writers are strongly encouraged to attend both days.

Dates: Monday, July 13 – Tuesday, July 14
Time: 1pm – 2pm
Location: Virtual; Register for Link

That’s Not What I Meant! On Dialogue (Ages 14-18)
Characters talk all the time in writing, whether in fiction, poetry (yes, poetry!), and plays, but how do you get their words to matter? And how do you capture the way a person speaks? In this workshop, you’ll learn how to write dialogue that pops. This is a two-session workshop. Writers are strongly encouraged to attend both days.

Dates: Wednesday, July 15 – Thursday, July 16
Time: 1pm – 2pm
Location: Virtual; Register for Link


July 20-23
Week Theme: Make Your Writing Pop!

Let’s Fight! Conflict and Tension in Writing (Ages 14-18)
Conflict is what makes your story move forward and is what keeps readers engaged. How do you build interesting conflict into your narrative? And how where does that conflict come from in the story? In this workshop, you’ll learn all about creating conflict from the writer’s perspective. This is a two-session workshop. Writers are strongly encouraged to attend both days.

Dates: Monday, July 20 – Tuesday, July 21
Time: 1pm – 2pm
Location: Virtual; Register for Link

I Love Your Voice (Ages 14-18)
Don’t worry, this isn’t a singing competition. Katy Perry will not be judging. Instead, in this session, you will learn how to strengthen your writer’s voice. Through electric diction, quirky phrasing, and personalized writing choices, you will develop your personal writer’s voice, as well as the voices of fictional narrators, to make readers hear you through the page. 

Dates: Wednesday, July 22
Time: 1pm – 2pm
Location: Virtual; Register for Link

Watch Your Tone! (Ages 14-18)
Have you ever been burned by tone? You know, when someone says words that are nice in theory, but their tone is full of sarcasm? In writing, tone can change the meaning of words. But how do writers use tone to make an impact on the page? Using videos, memes, and more, you’ll learn how tone can change your writing–and your meaning–in this workshop.

Dates: Thursday, July 23
Time: 1pm – 2pm
Location: Virtual; Register for Link


Questions? Email wins@penfaulkner.org