CHAUTAUQUA - Jamestown Community College hosted 11 high school students from New York, Pennsylvania and across the globe for a week of creative writing instruction and visits to Chautauqua Institution.
The Young Writers' Studio was a credit-bearing, residential program which coincided with Chautauqua's Literary Arts Week. Talented high school students from Jamestown and Olean, as well as Philadelphia, Albany and Kazakhstan, came together for the one-credit course which helped them hone their writing skills and learn about a variety of genres.
The course was taught by assistant professor of English Karen Weyant whose poetry has been published and who teaches a variety of courses, including creative writing, at JCC.
Young Writers’ Studio participants pause in front of Chautauqua Institution’s historic Athenaeum Hotel. In front, from left to right, are: Devin Callahan and Nichelle Conyer of Jamestown; Audrey Pitcher of Sand Lake; Evelyn Abbott of Baldwinsville; Margaret Stanford of Olean; Tessa Medvidovich of Dauphin, Pa.; Jael Goldfine of Lemont, Pa.; and Raisa Dibble of Kazakhstan. In back, from left to right, are: Danielle Flexer of Westfield; Julia Crozier-Christy of Wyomissing, Pa.; Cody Whitton of Kennedy; and Eric Ryan of Downingtown, Pa.
Students enrolled in the program hoping to find peers who take writing seriously and an instructor willing to critique even the best work. Chautauqua Institution guests of the "Roger Rosenblatt and Friends" series - such as Dame Julie Andrews and Billy Collins - also drew attention from the students.
Participants spent mornings at Chautauqua Institution, attending morning lectures and staying on the grounds for lunch, and returned to JCC's Jamestown Campus for intensive writing instruction, followed by both structured and unstructured writing time in the evenings. Writing assignments gave students the opportunity to apply what they heard from morning lectures to their own writing practice.
Evening program activities also included watching a film with visiting Swedish students, attending a concert at the Labyrinth Press Company in Jamestown, competing in a Scrabble tournament and enjoying a campfire in College Park.
Young Writers' Studio program fees covered housing, meals, program transportation, activities and tuition. Students earned one transferable English credit from JCC.