Thursday, April 24, 2014

Inkstains: EMWP Summer Writing Camp

Maddie Fyke, Inkstains camper & Alli Kaplan, Inkstains teacher

To Whom it May Concern:

For the past six summers, I've only known one thing for certain – I was going to Inkstains Writing Camp. There's just something about it that keeps the campers coming back. Maybe it's the fact that the environment opens us all up to each other's writing styles and we can give each other valuable feedback. Maybe it's all the intellectual conversations we have, whether the topics are political, social – you name it! Or maybe it's just that I've never been in a supportive community of writers where I've felt so comfortable sharing my work.

We, as writers, have different experiences, and it affects our style. Every year, I am floored by the talent of the young writers who come through with their beautiful minds and words. Whether we are scrawling in our notebooks in the Kiva Room, conference rooms, the library, or the green grasses of campus, there are so many places to spark a moment of inspiration. Also, the guest speakers that we have the good fortune to meet through Inkstains have truly had an effect on all of us – Mike Moriarty has signed my copy of his slam poetry anthology twice now, and I bought it from him five years ago when he came to perform for us!

If I could say how much Inkstains has meant to me, I could write a book (which maybe isn't such a bad idea). Throughout my middle school and high school years, Amy Van Horn, Alli Kaplan, and Sean Eldon have led this absolutely inspirational endeavor, and none of us could've been a part of it without the help of the Eastern Michigan Writing Project. Inkstains Writing Camp has given me the confidence to be true to myself as a writer, and I think I can speak for past, present, and future campers when I say that I've become much more enthusiastic about sharing my work with the world. Since I started coming to camp, I have written four produced one-act plays for my high school, and I don't plan on stopping there. The confidence that this camp has given to us has not only helped us all as writers, but as people, too.

I truly hope that Eastern Michigan University will keep Inkstains Writing Camp going, because it has given students so much knowledge and freedom of expression that is sometimes hard to find in the classroom. And even though it's time to turn the page and start on the next chapters of my life, I'll always keep a bookmark in the memories that Inkstains has given me. I don't mean to just say goodbye to my time at Inkstains; I want this to be a hello for new campers because all students who aspire to write deserve this opportunity.


Maddie Fyke
Pinckney Community High School

Hello Maddie and the Inkstains campers!

It starts with a blank notebook. Well, blank to some. To us, it is the start to the most incredible journey. Blank pages are our equivalent to potential, to the building of short stories, poems and plays, and most incredibly (and something that you have tapped into) to the foundation of a new confidence.

The evolution of our initial thoughts and first words into published writing is only part of the magic of camp. Sometime during the start of day one, our classroom becomes an interactive space where ideas bounce, support extends and friendships grow. The once generic notebook is now a unique writer’s journal, no two ever the same. We are proud to have provided you with a safe space to take ownership and explore your potential.

I love that you can feel the years of camaraderie between Sean, Amie and myself, along with the Inkstains directors. I think it’s because we all, campers and teachers, share in your love for the craft and in a belief that we are all capable of good writing.

Keep sharing your writing and continue amazing us with your creativity. It’s a gift. I know you will be successful and make a difference in this world.

Alli Kaplan
Proud Inkstains co-teacher and believer in the power of writing

P.S. And yes, I think a book about Inkstains would be a great idea!

P.P.S. If you know anyone who is interested in attending camp this year, the middle school camp is July 7-11, and the high school camp is July 14-18.

No comments: