Making it to Story Week
The Chicago City of Learning’s Young Author Playlist is a 5-genre learning journey that allows students and participants the chance to develop the habits of a writer, better their technical writing skills, connect with peer-based writing communities, and gain access to expertise editing and mentoring.
The genres include Non-Fiction, Fiction, Journalism, Poetry, and Scriptwriting. Each student chooses their own genre that best suits their interests and then proceed to follow a real-life pathway that includes some of the same challenges and activities a writer would encounter.
The Young Author Playlist is made up of levels that the students do work to eventually unlock certain rewards and experiences.
The different levels had students turn in work to proceed in the pathway. The work turned in took students down the same path that an author goes down. For example, the Fiction pathway has students keep a journal and the Non-Fiction pathway has students interview a family member or friend.
The rewards consist of writing workshops, meet and greets with Chicago authors and writers, public readings, being able to publish their work, and many more.
5 students participating in the Young Author Playlist unlocked the opportunity to take a free 8-week college level class at Columbia College taught by Christine Rice, Hypertext Studio Director.
In the class the students were taught with the Story Workshop Method, the same method taught in the Columbia College Creative Writing Department. The Story Workshop Method mirrors a writer’s process by going through steps of seeing, telling, and writing.
Young Author Playlist hopes to help young authors and learners gain certain capital like learning the habits of a writer, connecting to a community of other writers and the opportunity to perform their work and publish it.
At the end of the program the 5 students got to perform and read their writing at the Story Week Festival of Writers, at an event put on by You Media.
Afterwards, they were given the opportunity to publish the work they created in the workshop on HyperText Studio’s online publication.
“It’s probably one of the greatest things as a writer to see your work and now that it’s being read by other people,” Rice said.
Young Author Playlist allows students the opportunities to feel and participate in events that mirror the real life activities of published authors and then in turn become published authors themselves.