Saturday, September 19, 2009

Inkstains 2009: Writing to “Unlock the Traffic Jam”

Kimberly Pavlock, TC ‘92

Imagine . . . thirty-two middle school students one week, thirty-five high school students the next, waking up early to walk a writing marathon across the campus of Eastern Michigan University. With notebook and pen in hand, talking and laughing with friends, they look for the perfect spot to rest and continue writing. On the back of each camper’s gray Inkstains t-shirt are the words of John Updike, “I want to write books that unlock the traffic jam in everybody’s head.”

Thanks to Inkstains Co-Director, Aimee Grant, middle-school camp leaders Shirley Klokkenga, Sarah Soebbing, and Alli Kaplan, and our high school camp leaders, Sean Eldon, Amie Van Horn, and Alli Kaplan, a record number of secondary students came together as student writers this past July to find inspiration, to immerse themselves in the writing process, and to learn from each other.

Although we were pleased that the two camps filled quickly this year, we were disappointed that we did not have the space available to accommodate all students interested in attending. Next summer, the Inkstains Middle School camp (incoming grades 6-8) will be July 12-16, and the Inkstains High School camp (incoming grades 9-12) will be July 19-23. We hope that you will share these dates with your students.

We appreciate your telling your students about Inkstains and writing letters of recommendation in support of their attending. When you see your students this fall, we hope that they will share their published pieces and writing experiences at Inkstains with you.

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