The Writers Place has a strong history of reaching out to young writers through workshops and writers-in-the-schools programs. These go to the heart of our mission “to nurture an interest in writing and literature in a wide, diverse audience; and to reach out to the next generation through educational programs for students at all levels.” Deep cuts in arts education budgets and the dropping numbers of people who read and enjoy poetry make our youth programs particularly relevant. They help students grow beyond simple literacy to creative self-expression and appreciation of the art form.
The Writers Place offers creative writing workshops led by professional writers throughout the year in three different formats. Our programs serve teens in grades 7-12.
Teen Summer Writing Camps
Our summer camps feature workshops led by published, experienced writers and renowned guest speakers. Workshops are an interactive and exciting way to fight the summer brain drain. Workshops are part of our outreach into the community and can be offered at various locations. Scholarships are available.
Designed to reach inner city youth, students at risk, and students with a strong interest in creative writing, The Writers Place sends published, professional writers into schools to teach writing from real experiences. Creative writing can be an important tool for students' personal empowerment, and can help them develop life-long coping skills. In Our Own Words is an in-school poetry program, coordinated by Judith Roberts and taught by various local poets at several schools throughout the greater Kansas City area. Each poet meets with a class (or classes) of students to teach creative writing. Together, they explore the writing process from brainstorm to final draft. This program culminates with a public reading and an edited anthology.
Major funding for In Our Own Words is provided by the Francis Family Foundation and the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.
The Writers Place has hosted and supported the regional Poetry Outloud competition held annually in February. Winners in this competition go on to Jefferson City to compete for the national level.