Summer Writing Classes At The Library Turn Their Last Page
The 2019 Summer Writing for Rising 6th and 7th Graders program met for its final session in the C.H. Booth Library’s Antiques Room on August 8. Roughly half a dozen students participated in the five-week course that met every Thursday, beginning July 11, from 3:30 to 5:30 pm.
For the past four years, Sandy Hook resident Aimee Pokwatka has been instructing the young adult creative writing series, along with its sister program, Summer Writing for Rising 8th and 9th Graders that meets later that same evening.
The last classes on Thursday were all that more poignant for Ms Pokwatka, because this will be her last year leading the programs, due to moving later this month.
Ms Pokwatka began teaching writing at the collegiate level at Syracuse University in 2006, which is where she received her MFA in creative writing. Upon moving to Newtown in 2010, she began teaching young adult and adult programs in 2014.
She has enjoyed teaching the young adult students in Newtown over the years and has been able to see them grow as writers, with many choosing to continue her classes until they age out.
For the writing programs this summer, Ms Pokwatka said, “Each week, we focus on a different aspect of the craft of writing: plot, characterization, point of view, and setting.”
To help the students understand each concept, she leads fun activities to spark the students’ imagination while applying the specific aspect of writing. All the while, she offers a laid-back environment where students can discuss their ideas freely and enjoy snacks that she supplies for every class.
“The students [also] have the opportunity to read their work aloud to the group after each exercise,” Ms Pokwatka added.
During the last Summer Writing for Rising 6th and 7th Graders session, students utilized the skills they learned throughout the previous classes to create a story in only six scenes, then got the opportunity to write ghost stories, the latter of which is a tradition Ms Pokwatka saves for the final class in all her programs.
Between writing activities, students sat around the table in the Antiques Room reminiscing about some of their favorite stories they had written over the summer and their hopes for where to take their writing in the future.
To learn about upcoming programs at the C.H. Booth Library, visit chboothlibrary.org.