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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Passion for writing ‘works like fertilizer’ for RBR students | | Hub

The word play of the headline for this article grabbed my interest and pulled me in (as effective headlines are supposed to do). The article is about how a creative writing teacher at Red Bank Regional High School in New Jersey "cultivates language" and "harvests storytelling."

The teacher, Gretna Wilkinson, inspires her new students every year with a favorite story that begins with a teacher taking her students into the woods. It's dark and silent there, except for the light from a torch the teacher carries "and the thoughts that chatter inside the students’ minds."

Wilkinson says:
To teach writing is to get them to enjoy all that is beautiful and passionate in the play of light and dark. And light is when you get your idea from deep inside you onto the page, and dark is when you’re struggling to get it out, but knowing that you’ll get light at the end.
Wilkinson encourages her creative writing students to strive for that light:
And when you find the light for this one, you find yourself striving for fresh light for another piece because by the time you discovered one light, there’s a new one working its way through to the forefront.
To get into the class, students first submit a portfolio of their work and then go through an audition of interviews and reading tests. Wilkinson says about that process:
It’s their passion for it that works like fertilizer. It just grows on itself and they come in just ready to go. But the ability to write is not enough to get you in; the passion for writing is what we’re after.
Word play light that grows on me. And so does creative writing! 

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