Writing Our Lives Youth Writing Conference 2018


Date: November 10, 2018, Saturday

Time: 9 am - 1 pm; breakfast and sign-in 8:30 am - 9 am

Location: SU's Community Engagement Center, 350 West Fayette Street, Syracuse, NY 13202

Registration Deadline: November 4, 2018, Friday

Calling all middle, high school, and college youth writers! Join us for a day of engaging writing workshops focused on the power of images and words - Visual Voices. The day will include interactive sessions with Syracuse community writers, authors, and teaching artists that honor the legacy of Professor Stephen Mahan, the founder and director of the PAL (Photography and Literacy) Project.


For more information on this year's Writing Our Lives Youth Writing Conference, please contact sally@believeinsyracuse.org.


What is Writing Our Lives?

Writing Our Lives youth literacy program promotes writing in the lives of youth in and out of school and works with teachers and community groups to prepare better writers. Programming includes writing workshops, presentations, digital storytelling, youth publications, writer’s notebooks, promotion of cultural voices, and community events for young writers. Writing Our Lives, founded in 2009 by Dr. Marcelle Haddix, supports students in urban schools and community spaces.

Dr. Haddix describes Writing Our Lives: “It’s an opportunity to engage with community writers, poets, artists and educators who bring their talents and gifts to the conference to share with today’s youths. We are trying to foster and create a community of writers that is inclusive of adults and youth across backgrounds, race, class, gender, sexuality and religion. It really is to create a space for all of us who love to write and who have stories to share. It’s a way to tell those stories and learn how to listen, receive and bear witness to others’ stories.”


The goals for the Writing Our Lives program include:


1. To foster connection between reading and writing. The program highlights the importance of developing readers who are writers and writers who are readers. K-12 students have an opportunity to observe the writing process by working up close with teaching artists, authors, and composition instructors in writing workshops.

2. To encourage and celebrate youth writing practices. The program offers several writing events both in classrooms and in the community, as part of the Writing Our Lives program. These events include a writing conference, afterschool programs, and summer institutes.

3. To disrupt standardized learning and validate creative forms of literacy. As teachers are faced with increasing curricular demands and accountability measures, room for creativity and innovative teaching is challenged. A goal of this program is to support teachers in meeting the curricular and assessment standards by demonstrating how the Writing Our Lives activities align with those expectations in creative and authentic ways.


For more information about the Writing Our Lives Program, please contact Dr. Marcelle Haddix at mhaddix@syr.edu.

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