A place to play, with words.
Workshop 26 was founded to provide a space for elementary and middle schoolers to uplevel their writing skills while connecting with other kids. We believe that writing is better when shared with friends, better still when it happens off screens and outdoors. We believe that small group classes create safe spaces, where kids can learn to summon their inner creators and share their stories and opinions with confidence. We believe that kids learn best when it feels like play, and we always, always, play with words.
What we do ...
Classes run once a week for 1.5 hours. We use mentor texts, art and various media to explore different aspects of the writer's craft, followed up with story starters, prompts and great first lines to fuel the writer’s imagination. We typically spend 20-30 minutes dedicated to writing with the goal of practice and play, not perfection. Writers share their work, and offer and receive feedback in a setting that is carefully crafted to meet them where they are, highlighting the positive aspects of the work.
SummerCamps generally run for two hours, for two weeks at a time, building on the class structure but adding more social and project based time. If you don't see a session that works for your child, please let me know, custom camps around swim team practice or girl scout camp may be possible.
Custom Birthday parties, auction parties, and private small group classes are also available. And If you don't see a time or session that works for your child, or you'd like a class for a group, reach out, we can often add a class, as long as we have four kids.
Community Practice makes perfect, and all the world is a stage. We'll also alert kids and families about contest opportunities, such as Poul Anderson, and Youth Ink, and we're currently working on creating more outlets for writers to share their work in public settings.
Philosophy For the last seven years, I've run an elementary school library in Orinda and what I've learned is that the most engaged readers make the strongest writers. Each week, we'll use carefully curated mentor texts as a lens into different aspects of the writer's craft, such as the elements of world-building, physicality, poetic descriptions and (their favorite) humor.
Location Our sessions are (mostly) held outdoors at my home in Orinda, located between OIS and Del Rey Elementary. On the rare occasions when the weather doesn’t permit outdoor classes, we meet indoors, in a room with air filtration. Writing classes are often attended by our curmudgeonly mascot, Poki, a shih tzu poodle mix. As one young writer said “I’m usually afraid of anything bigger than my foot. Except her.” High praise indeed.
Zoom While in person meetings are the gold standard, I've also seen great connections grow from classes on Zoom. I've worked with students in San Francisco, Lafayette, Orinda, Oakland and Piedmont but some have dialed in from as far as New York, Los Angeles and Korea. Zoom classes are great ways to connect with cousins and friends in far flung places and with enough interest, we can often custom build one of these classes.
Questions? email email@example.com