National Writing Project

Writing Our Lives: A History of Hosting Writing Conferences for Youth

Date: January 26, 2017

Summary: Since 2009, youth in central New York have had opportunities to participate in Writing Our Lives conferences and afterschool programs in support of the writing they do. Dr. Marcelle Haddix, originator of Writing Our Lives, and Dr. Bryan Ripley Crandall, director of Connecticut Writing Project-Fairfield, have collaborated to provide locations and opportunities for young people to 'speak their truth' during community events in a celebration of writing.


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Dr. Marcelle Haddix on the results of offering youth writing opportunities:

I started off by just offering writing workshops in the local libraries and community spaces, and students were showing up. There's always this misrepresentation around young people as not liking or wanting to write, and that was far from the truth. And I had a number of black boys who were coming to the space as well, so again, another myth around who is writing, who is engaging in literacy and writing practices."

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