SHED Writing Conference: A Student’s Perspective


This past Friday, November 17, 2017, students from the high school participated in a writing workshop that was held at North Branford High School. Published authors, journalists, and other writers taught sessions in which students were able to practice and improve their writing skills. Each student attended two 50 minute sessions, followed by an open mic time in which students could share their work with the entire group.

I participated in a session about fiction, which focused on how to write dialogue, and another session about poetry, where we were asked to recall different experiences in our lives. I enjoyed both sessions, but I found the poetry session particularly interesting. We wrote “I Remember…” poems, which is as simple as it sounds. The poems were a list of events or objects that we remembered in our life, with no fancy words or metaphors. For example, I wrote:

I remember the baby doll wearing the black dress with white flowers.

I remember the white frosting on the gingerbread houses.

I remember pink leotards and ballet shoes.

I remember the blinding spotlight the first time I stepped onstage in a play.

I remember hugs from my teammates after a tough game.

I found the experience to be very nostalgic and relaxing, and it was amazing how many random memories popped into my head. At the conclusion of the session, we were encouraged to expand on these memories. Each memory could be made into a separate poem, a personal essay, a drawing, a song, or any form of expression we could think of.

My favorite part of the day was the open-mic portion. I really enjoyed hearing the work of other students, and I greatly admire their courage because I know it takes a lot of bravery to stand up in front of an auditorium full of strangers and read your work. Students read “I Remember…” poems, scenes with dialogue, and excerpts of novel ideas as well as performed songs they had written during the songwriting session. It was inspiring to hear all of the work from the other students, especially knowing how much creativity and hard work must go into creating each piece of writing.