COLUMN: Students unleash creative energy in 24 Hour Write

The L.V. Rogers annual 24 Hour Write gives young writers a chance to put aside homework and worries for a day and channel creativity.

L.V. Rogers students recently participated in the 24 Hour Write

The L.V. Rogers annual 24 Hour Write gives young writers a chance to put aside homework and worries for a day and channel creativity. This year, 20 students from different grades gathered in the school library at noon in an oath not to leave the premises until 12 the next day, when each of us would hand in a short story and head home.

To get the creative juices flowing, we began with a guest speaker: Leesa Dean, a creative writing teacher from SelkirkCollege. She spoke to us about creating art with restrictions; a useful topic considering we would have tight word limits: 800 words for the younger grades, and 1,000 for the senior category. After a short writing exercise under her direction,involving ridiculous records of calls to 911, we received our prompts for the day.

The prompts were a combination of things; we chose phrases from vintage magazines and pulled objects from a leather suitcase. The objects which varied from teacups to plastic dinosaurs, had a suspicious air of being picked from the selection of props in the school’s drama department. Armed with a laptop and a memory stick to save our story, we began the write.

After two hours of straight writing everyone’s fingers get a little bit cramped. At 3:30, the school showed no signs of life but a few custodians, and we were free to roam. With the gym to ourselves, a vicious game of dodgeball ensued followed quickly by a round of Sardines throughout the school. After a dinner of enchiladas prepared for us earlier by a kindly foods class, everyone’s inspiration was running out, and it was time for another guest speaker.

Cyndi Sand-Eveland handed out fortune cookies and taught us, using the obscure fortunes in them, about creating conflict in each sentence in our stories. We learned how much of our story to use establishing characters and premise, and dove back into our writing.

The guest speakers helped to inspire us, and, since both have found success in the writing world, gave us courage that we could one day do the same. They provided some good tips on how to follow in their footsteps!

Many people wrote late into the night, and woke up early with a desperate need for caffeine. Thankfully, a cheery announcement informed us of breakfast, and we stumbled to the cafeteria to the sight of our principal Mr. Huttemann in an apron, making a feast of waffles with berries and cream, bacon and fried potatoes. The featured item at the table was most definitely the coffee. The hours of the morning slipped by quickly, and before we knew it we were printing out our stories and returning our prompts.

While this write is a contest, there is no real sense of competition during the 24 hours that the students spend together. When the stories are finished in the morning, everyone makes edits and contributions to each other’s stories, sitting in collaborative circles and passing around precarious laptops for constructive criticism. By the end, everyone knows one another’s stories inside out, and each work feels like a team effort. It is a wonderful way for students interested in writing to meet other like-minded people and learn from each other. Everyone leaves at the end with something they can be proud of.

Gillian Wiley is a Grade 11 L.V. Rogers student. Her column appears here once a month.

Below: Students who participated in the 24 Hour Write received breakfast whipped up by principal Tim Huttemann.

Just Posted

Tailings site near Salmo could be remediated

The tailings came from the historic Jersey-Emerald mine

Greyhound service cuts decision expected next week

Nelson could see its bus service reduced on Wednesday

Nelson to review city council pay levels

The results would apply to the next council following the municipal election this fall

Petition: reinstate band program at Mt. Sentinel

SD8 superintendent is surveying Slocan Valley students to gauge interest

Logging planned for Cottonwood Lake and Apex areas

The private land to be logged is owned by Nelson Land Corporation headed by Mike Jenks

What it means to be human (without a smartphone)

Two LVR teachers take control of phones in the classroom

Nelson Leafs fall to Rebels 4-1

The Leafs open the playoffs next weekend

Nelson speedskater wins two races

Ian Walgren was on the podium at a Special Olympics event

Nelson Nordic Ski Club hosts two races

The Clearwater Challenge and Kootenay Cup both ran last weekend

Five gold medals at provincials for Nelson Boxing Club

Local fighters put on a clinic last weekend

COLUMN: Love in the pages – and on the plate

Check This Out with Anne DeGrace

LETTER: Cannabis Compassion Club optimistic in legal battle with city

The downtown non-profit has been operating since 2000

#Metoo movement causing confusion in many men, fear of missteps with women: experts

Being painted by the same sweeping brush as those alleged to have mistreated women has angered men

Liberals to dig deeper, aim higher on gender equality in 2018 federal budget

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said the budget would include measures to boost women in the workforce

Most Read