Writing is a form of expression. For young adults and teens, it is a great way to practice a useful skill while also expressing themselves in a constructive way. Does your teen love to write for fun? Have they wanted to explore the world of writing novels? In our Summer Teen program, we offer writing classes for teenage novelists who are interested in improving their writing skills and learning what it takes to be a professional writer. Instructor, Katherine Bond, is a professional author who has been teaching these courses for years. Students return year after year to take more classes with her, and parents praise the work their teens have accomplished. Read our Q&A with Katherine Bond to learn more about her and the Summer Teen classes she will be teaching this year:
What is your background in writing?
I got my first publishing contract in 1992. Since then, I’ve published around 200 short stories, articles and poems in magazines, journals and anthologies, as well as seven books. Though my background is mostly in traditional publishing, I’ve also forayed into self-publishing.
What inspired you to teach this class?
I am a certified teacher, but once I started having children, I began building my own program—now known as Epicwrite. This began with a handful of teens in my living room in 1995, and over the years I’ve had the joy of mentoring thousands of teens in workshops, camps, classes and “Live-Action Writing” (complete with costumes!) BC approached me in 2004 to teach their one teen writing class, and I loved it here. Most teen writers are either novelists or poets, so I campaigned for expanded classes. This summer’s Teenage Novelist: The Novel in a Nutshell, Teenage Novelist: Talking to Your Characters, and the multi-genre Writer’s Intensive are part of a program designed for novelists, poets and short fiction writers, as well as those just starting out.
What are the top three takeaways students will learn/experience?
- In Novel in a Nutshell they’ll come away with the main ingredients of their novel: solid storyline, characters, scenes, and a plot structure.
- In Talking to Your Characters, they’ll discover their characters’ histories, relationships, opinions and desires.
- In Writer’s Intensive they’ll develop their poems, stories, songs, rants or “whatever” writing into a body of work. Community with other writers can be an astonishing experience. Designing magic systems, bantering with invisible people, and obsessing over the breakfast foods of 1871 France are part of an average day for us writers. Some teens say they have finally found their tribe.
How does this class differ from other similar options out there?
This is a program where you own your work, and you approach it the way a professional writer would. That means it doesn’t “belong” to the teacher. You create what you want to create for no other reason than to enjoy it and share it. We also spend a lot of time laughing and sitting in the sunshine, when we get tired of the four walls. My job is to be a professional resource, showing you what published writers do to bring our work to the world.
What are you most looking forward to as the instructor of the class?
I love young writers—from those who are just beginning to create their own work to seasoned novelists who have written for years! Spending time with them inspires and energizes me. Working with teens at BC is a highlight of my summer.
Anything else that you think would be helpful for parents/teens to know?
This is a class where you write what you love. The work will emerge from your imagination. You will have guidelines, structure and sometimes writing prompts, but you’ll find that the classes are not like what you do at school. What I’ve discovered is that when you have a chance to write for your own pleasure, you fall in love with writing. The skills you gain transfer to what you do at school. Though these classes are for “creative writing,” you may find, when you get back to school, that you enjoy those AP essays and historical research papers a lot more than you did before. You may even see an improvement in your grades!
Last Updated May 23, 2018