Thursday, August 25, 2011

They come from the north and the south to John Campbell Folk School

This week has been exciting and exhausting. As I meet each day with my class of students, I love that they are there before me anxious to learn and to write.

We began Sunday evening and many of the eight students seemed a bit unsure as to what they hoped to write and what they expected to be writing in the future.
Today we discussed publishing and later when I asked where they might try to publish and what kind or writing they planned to pursue, everyone had something definite they wanted to do.

When students sign up for my classes at JCCFS, I never know the experience they have had in writing. I offer my class for beginning and intermediate writers. In this class, I have only one beginner. But his writing is good and he made the decision to write fiction. He is on his way to finding places for his stories for young adults.

One of the women in the class is a fantastic travel writer though she has only published one article. We all encouraged her to pursue publishing. I believe editors will want her humorous and entertaining work.

One woman is working toward a memoir on a subject seldom explored in today's world of literarure - women in agriculture. She held our attention with personal stories, often funny stories, and written with comedic timing, but without question of her knowledge of farming and the work involved.

The group has gelled slowly, but I can see the bond growing between them as they get to know each other through their writing and socializing on campus.
I think of my classes like a new book. I open the cover knowing nothing of what is inside, but with each page I learn more, and more. By Friday noon, we will dismiss and disperse to distant states and cities. Some of them I might never hear from again. Others will become email friends. I will always be interested in them and their writing.

I feel it is a priviledge to meet with these people, and I try to give them the best I have in me. I want them to leave knowing they can contact me with questions or for advice.

Tomorrow my students will show what they have learned this week when we hold a reading at the Keith House at 4:45 PM. I hope we have a full house for their reading debut. If you are in the area, please drop by and you will enjoy the stories by my students.

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