The Writing in the Schools program, a creative writing program that Pasadena-based publishing nonprofit Red Hen Press launched in 2003, is back up and running after a pandemic lull.
Since creating Writing in the Schools (WITS), Red Hen has worked to promote literary independence and community impact for more than 4,500 students in elementary through 12th grade. The program currently supports around 300 students at five schools in the Los Angeles area.
In creative-writing workshops, students read books developed for the WITS program: “How to Free a Naked Man from a Rock” for middle and high school students and “Did Pirates Rip Her Arms Off?” for elementary students. Published authors lead students in reading poems and other written works and discussing literary devices used in the writing.
After all the reading and discussions, it’s the students’ turn to produce, and workshop facilitators encourage them to draw inspiration from the readings to write their own poems and short stories. By the end of the workshop, students have created enough writing to produce a bound anthology of their written work. You can enjoy their works and learn more about the program at redhen.org/writing-in-the-schools/.