Teen Writers on GrubStreet’s Young Adult Writers Program
Each month from September to April, GrubStreet throws open its doors to give writers between the ages of thirteen and eighteen a chance to hone their craft and support each other through creative writing. Offering three classes per Saturday session – including exciting genres like Action in Fiction, Slam Poetry, and Fantasy Fiction – YAWP is a great opportunity for high school students to experiment with creative writing. The program has grown in scope and popularity since its launch and has been recognized by The Boston Globe as the hub for young writers.
We’re midway through our fall Saturday sessions this year, and we’ve decided to ask some of our teen writers what they thought of YAWP.
Emma Krause, 17, of Wakefield, Mass., enjoys how the program brings together teens from all different schools:
GrubStreet is a very special place that teen writers of all different backgrounds can gather from around our community and share their work and ideas with others. The instructors make the classes fun in a very welcoming and unique environment.
YAWP programs are conducted with the same rigor as GrubStreet’s adult classes, and Andrew De Souza, 17, of Cambridge, Mass., has gained an appreciation for the process that leads to artistic excellence:
Since I started taking YAWP classes during the fall of 2011, I have developed a greater regard for the writing process and an understanding that good stories won’t always emerge sui generis from my head—it can take a few drafts to get there. I have also developed an appreciation for different genres of literature and the inspiration to write every day.
As anyone who comes through the doors at GrubStreet knows, the benefits of a supportive community are boundless. YAWP provides an environment of warmth, passion, diversity, and encouragement, and relatively small classes foster friendships between YAWPers and unfettered communication between students and instructors. Students leave the programs with an increased sense of community that values creative expression.
“For a very long time, I doubted that there were other writers and readers my age in Boston who were as passionate about it as I am,” says Benjamin Willems, a tenth-grader from Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA. “But I’ve made several friends during the eight Saturdays I spend here per year. They are funny, intelligent, kind, and above all, supportive of each other’s work. If I never met any of them, I wouldn’t be the writer I am now.”
GrubStreet kicked off its Fall 2014 YAWP classes this past Saturday, September 20th, to a great turnout. Upcoming (free!) sessions will be held November 15, 2014, and December 13, 2014, from 12:00 – 3:30 PM at Grub Headquarters (162 Boylston Street, 5th floor).
Register in advance at https://www.grubstreet.org/programs/for-teens/young-adult-writers-program/. If you’re a teen interested in creative writing, we hope to see you there!
By Hannah Lamarre, Grub Intern
Hannah is currently a senior at Emerson College, where she is pursuing a BFA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing, with a concentration in fiction and a minor in psychology. She is the fiction editor of Emerson's Gauge magazine, and enjoys reading and writing young adult fiction, seeking out new coffee shops, and petting other people's dogs.