Faint lights shined on the Indy Reads stage as the Saint Florian CASH Club high schoolers performed their spoken word writings; they worked hard all summer for this moment.
For the past two summers, I have interned with the Indiana Writer’s Center as an intern with the Saint Florian CASH Club high schoolers. I remember my first day ever working with them, it was June of 2016, when I walked in the room I could feel their cold stares falling upon me. I could only imagine they were thinking,
“Who is this girl?”
“Oh great… another teacher who’s going to make me write.”
“Why should I trust her?”
I don’t blame them though. I was a stranger coming into their summer camp with the intention of having them write and share their memories. I would’ve felt the same way if I were in their position, but I knew that there had to be something I could do to earn their trust. So, that first day when the prompts were given to them, I decided to write along with them. I wrote about an intimate moment of my own life and allowed myself to be vulnerable. I did this without the intention of sharing, but once it came time for author’s chair, their eyes once again fell on me.
The beginning of the semester has been filled with many accomplishments. Read more to learn about the department’s achievements!
Rani Deighe Crowe‘s short film, Texting: A Love Story, played at the Broad Humor Film Festival at the beginning of the month. The film also:
Played at the Milwaukee Women’s Film Festival in August, winning the Audience Award for short film
Has been accepted to 74 festivals around the world, including screenings in Israel, South Africa, Japan, Greece, Italy, Austria, Germany, and the UK
In October, the film will screen at the Indie Hype Film Festival in Sydney, Australia and the Portland Comedy Film Festival in Portland, Oregon.
In other news…
Dr. Darolyn “Lyn” Jones accepted an invitation to serve as a three year term board member for the Indiana Teachers of Writing (ITW). She also:
Presented at the conference “#blacklivesmatter: And So Do Authentic Writing Prompts” at the Indiana Teachers of Writing Annual Conference with Michael Baumann, a Ph. D. in Rhetoric and Composition at the University of Louisville.
Spoke with Dr. Sheron Fraser-Burgess at the Indiana Association of Black School Educators (IABSE) Annual Fall Meeting on the topic of “How and why we should create more clubs like the Alliance of Black and Latino Teachers (ABLT) club.”
Released her new book “Memory Workshop” with co-author Barbara Shoup
Dr. Adam Beach‘s essay, “Aubin’s The Noble Slaves, Montagu’s Spanish Lady, and English Feminist Writing about Sexual Slavery in the Ottoman World” was accepted for publication in Eighteenth-Century Fiction.
Ball State University junior education major Emily Mack describes her phenomenal summer internship through the Indiana Writers Center where she worked with children to help them sharpen their writing skills.
This summer I had the opportunity to intern for the Indiana Writers Center, helping to teach creative writing to 3 different groups: a pack of brutally honest, rowdy, affectionate 1st-3rd graders and two classes of funny, guarded, intelligent, bilingual high school students. In a mere seven weeks, almost 300 student writers ages 5-18 from across Indiana produced pages upon pages of funny, thought-provoking, gut-wrenching poems and mini-memoirs.
I believe everyone has an innate desire to be known and to connect with others. Storytelling has always been about sharing a connection. In meeting these kids where they are–embracing them as the wiggly, imaginative, funny, vulnerable, intelligent kids they are–we enable them to share their stories and be known by all who will read them. The best parts of this experience were getting out of my own bubble, being able to put what I’m learning about diversity and teaching into action, and being trusted with these stories.
One day Bryson, a 7-year-old at Saint Florian, walked into class, pointed at me, and said, “I want to write with you today!” I promised I would and went around the classroom to greet other students and pass out sheets of paper. He kept staring at me and patting the empty chair beside him until I sat by him. Continue reading →
Professor Lyn Jones is the Education Outreach Director at the Indiana Writers Center (IWC). Over the summer, Jones and Ball State Student interns worked on a project called Building a Rainbow that focused on helping at-risk youth write memoirs. Below is a link to the Ball State University website featuring a story on Jones, the interns, and the project.
In the last few years, folks in and outside of Indianapolis have had a lot to say about the city. Locals and nonlocals have weighed in on the city’s benefits and drawbacks. Most of the individuals talking, writing, and being heard are politicians, journalists, or economic developers. What is consistently missing from those media messages are the voices of the Indianapolis community. All too often, the common and everyday experiences that shape our lives and impact our community go unnoticed, and memories connected to our living spaces remain undocumented. How can we talk about what our communities should be if we don’t know what they were?
CityWrite was the vision of Mark Latta (Marian University and the Indiana Writers Center) along with Darolyn “Lyn” Jones (Ball State University and the Indiana Writers Center). As writers, community activists, and educators, Mark and Lyn have worked together for several years on a variety of memoir and ethnography projects, but each with the same vision: to encourage everyone to use their voice. Writing is a way for people to use their own language to illustrate the common and uncommon human experience we each share.