Budding Scribes Converged on Campus for Free Writing Workshop

More than 115 Bridgeport students in grades 8 through 12 bolstered writing skills and considered life beyond high school at Writing Our Lives-Bridgeport, a campus workshop in May organized by the campus-based Connecticut Writing Project- Fairfield (CWP).

The daylong event, which featured notable speakers from a wide variety of writing genres, was sponsored, in part, by Bank of America.

Dr. Bryan Ripley Crandall, CWP’s director and an assistant professor in the Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions (GSEAP), organized the event. “Students often want more opportunities to write in real-world ways,” Dr. Crandall said, “but schools currently provide test-only instruction because of the demands of state assessments.”

The day featured 11 breakout sessions with titles such as “On Mix Tapes and Poets,” “Advertisements for Myself: Thinking and Writing about Consumer Culture,” “Sports, Hope, & Literacy: Thinking Globally, Acting Locally” and “Skills for a Successful College Writer.” Bob Albert, one of the presenters, was highly impressed with the teenagers from Bridgeport. “It was an inspiring experience to work with these kids,” he said. “They were smart and arrived with great ideas. I wish I had gone to something like this when I was in school.”

The highlight of the day came from the keynote speaker Kwame Alexander, author of 14 books, including his young adult novel He Said, She Said. Alexander explained the secret to his roundabout route to success. “My philosophy in life is to say yes – and then figure it out,” he told the students.

For more information on CWP events and initiatives, contact Dr. Crandall at bcrandall@fairfield.edu.