Thursday, July 16, 2015

CCSWP In Action

The CCSWP is winding down for this summer, but it's been an amazing two weeks.

Just to give you a sense of how much writing has happened and how hard our writers are working, here's some statistics. 
Since Monday, July 6th CCSWP writers have...
  • Made more than 2800 edits to On July 9th, students were adding and saving an average of 2 page edits per minute. 
  • From July 6th to the time of this posting, more than 42,000 writers, parents, and friends have visited, viewed, and read work on
  • By Friday, all of our 40 writers will have prepared at least one piece for publication in the 2015 CCSWP Anthology. 
Below are just a few pictures of our authors in action. 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Meet the CCSWP Instructors: Rachel and Kristine

Today, I'd like you to meet one of our newest instructors as well as one of our most veteran. Meet Rachel and Kristine.

My name is Rachel Rothstein and I just completed my senior year at Central Connecticut State University. I am about to student teach at E.B. Kennelly Elementary School in Hartford. I love animals and have several pets. In my spare time I like to travel, read, and cook. I have been working with children for the past six years and look forward to working with the those in the writing project program.

Hello! My name is Kris, and you should know
that I will be with you in just a few weeks
or so. We’ll talk, we’ll write, we’ll edit our words,
and when we’re done, you’ll be as bards
who sing the praises of the world.
I once wrote for the local rags, but now
I teach. I love it so. To give a taste
of writing power - no one can know the joy
it brings. Except the bard.

Hello! My name is Kristine Harger and I am one of the instructors in the 2015 Central Connecticut Student Writing Project. I have been involved with CCSWP and it’s parent organization, Central Connecticut Writing Project, since 2008. I currently teach American Literature and AP/UCONN English Literature at New Britain High School and am a resident of Windsor. I received my bachelor of arts in English at UCONN (go Huskies!), and my master of arts in English at CCSU (go Blue Devils!). Prior to my teaching career, I was a journalist for community newspapers in Connecticut, Western Massachusetts, and Aroostook County, Maine. My passions are poetry (that’s blank verse above), Edgar Allan Poe, and my kitty, Edgar. After a year’s absence, I am so excited to be back teaching at CCSWP - see you all soon!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

CCSWP Registration CLOSING June 22nd

I'd like to announce that registrations for CCSWP 2015 will be closing on Monday, June 22nd. 

If you'd like to register for this summer's institute, please do so in the next few days. 

We can't wait to get started. 
Click below to add a reminder to your calendar

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Meet the CCSWP Instructors: Colleen

This week, I'd like to introduce you to one of our newest instructors, Colleen. 

Hi, I'm Colleen, an English major at Central Connecticut State University. I absolutely love to write and even more than that, I love talking about writing. As a future teacher, one of my biggest goals is to get my students excited about writing. Writing is simply an extension of thought, the student that can think can write also. I cannot wait to meet the thinkers and writers of this summer's CCSWP. I hope to be a helping hand for your child through her or his writing process.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Meet the CCSWP Instructors: Caine

As the 2015 CCSWP fast approaches, I'd like to introduce you to some of our incredible instructors. These are the people that make the CCSWP a success summer after summer. They are all amazing teachers and writers. 
This is Caine. 
Displaying Caine Family Photo.jpg

I was born and raised in Wethersfield, CT. After high school I attended Plymouth State University in Plymouth, NH where I majored in English and minored in Secondary Education. 
After graduating I moved to Summit County, Colorado and worked as a snow board instructor at Copper Mountain. Following my time in CO I decided to try Maui, Hawaii and simply couldn't leave. I lived on the island and taught English at Baldwin High School for six years. In 2011, I married my wife Jill (also an English teacher) and we decided to move back to Connecticut to start a family. 
On August 25th 2013 my wife gave birth to Makena Elizabeth Schlenker. I have taught English at The Greater Hartford Academy of Arts for the past three years (which means I will be going into my 10th year of teaching! Yikes!) By the time you will have read this my wife will have given birth to our second child.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Summertime Echoes

Since 2012, we've asked students to reflect upon their CCSWP experience as it draws to a close. On the last day, students fill out an online form that asks them what they enjoyed, what they'd like to see changed, and how they would rate the CCWP. 
All questions are optional, including a name. Students can be anonymous, but most if not all choose to own their comments. I'd like to think it's because they've spent so much time developing and owning the words in their stories and poems. 
I always like to share these comments just to give a sense of how students feel about the CCSWP and how it affects these young writers. 
All samples are copied exactly as written (misspellings and all)
  • There is so much I love about this camp. I like being around other people that like to write (NOT an experience I'm used to) and sharing with my ideas with them. I also loved being with the teachers. who along with being fun and easy going also gave really good feedback that helped me improve my writing. Overall, everyone here was awesome. I also really liked just being able to focus and write.
  • I love the freedom that we get here, being able to talk and laugh and be creative all at the same time. I loved being able to see my friends after a year and be around people who actually like writing and consider themselves as nerds. At school, I am the only one.
  • There aren't many changes that I would want to make in the writing program, it was fun and interesting. But if I had to choose, I would choose to make the time longer. I love the writing project and think we should have more time to write stories and do our lessons. That way we could get so much more done.
  • I loved when we did the Forbidden sense activity because it challenged our imaginations and taught us to describe things in ways we wouldn't have thought of. I also loved the ice breakers because we were able to get to know the people that were in the camp to.
  • It was very fun at the writing program, I got to meet new people and write. Before this program I didn't exactly like writing. I would rather read or do math. But now, I love writing and plan to do it more often.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Pizza and Poetry...Pizzatry?

Last week, I attended a Pizza Poetry event in New Orleans. It was sponsored by Big Class, a community writing program that does absolutely amazing work with New Orleans students. I would highly reccommend clicking the link to the program and seeing what they are all about. I was lucky enough to chat with Big Class director Doug Keller, and I was truly impressed with his passion and vision for the program. I feel incredibly fortunate to have had this opportunity.

For Pizza Poetry, Big Class partners with area pizza restaurants (I had Pizza Delicious - the carmelized onion and prosciutto pizza was incredible), and, together, they include poems in and on the pizza boxes for the entire day. This allows Big Class and its student writers to reach out into the community in a truly unique manner.

All those who were in attendance on Pizza Poetry night at Big Class were asked to write. The student writers provided prompts for the adult writers, and I chose to write to the prompt that said "A giant chicken is about to pluck out all your hairs. How are you going to react?" Below is my pizza poem.

You pluck me; I pluck you.
Eye for an eye - feather for a hair.
We’ll both be cold come winter,
But only one of us is delicious.

What’s your beef, chicken?
Sure I consumed, but I didn’t bread your friends.
Alright, maybe I did, but such is life.
Life isn’t fair, fowl, so beaks off my skull.

I promise to eat less eggs - or more - how does that work?
I will advocate to free you from ranges -
You specifically; I can’t speak for all hens.
“If you throw back a starfish…” or something like that.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

CCSWP Heads to the Big Easy

This weekend, I'm headed to New Orleans for the National Writing Project's Urban Sites Network Conference. I'll be presenting a workshop on Purpose First Writing. It's something that I've been working on for the past few years.

I'm excited to share this work with a national audience in New Orleans, but I'm equally excited to introduce Purpose First Writing to our CCSWP participants. This work will be at the heart of CCSWP's Non-fiction Institute in Wethersfield. Students will get first-hand experience with Purpose First, and it will, hopefully, change the way they approach writing when they return to school in the Fall. Check back for updates from the conference!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Announcing CCSWP Newington!

Today, we are pleased to announce that registration for CCSWP Newington is now open.

This institute will take place at Emmanuel Christian Academy from July 20th-31st (M-F). We will hold our traditional Creative Writing Program in Newington, and the program will run from 9am-12pm.

Please go to our Registration Page for more information or to sign up for CCSWP Newington.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Smile...For Free!

Starting today, my book, The Smile, will be available for free on Amazon Kindle. This promotion will last until Saturday, March 14th.

The book is about a young girl name Renee Palmer who is entering into her first romantic relationship while trying to balance her responsibilities at home and manage the often volatile relationship with her mother.

This is a Young Adult novel, best suited for high-school-aged students or older. There is some mature language and some adult situations in the novel. You can read the Amazon reviews here. 

Publishing this and sharing with others has been quite an adventure for me. I hope that you take the chance to explore and read it, and I'd love to answer your questions and hear your comments.

Happy reading.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

CCSWP Registration is Now Open!

Ladies and Gentlemen, we thank you for your patience. Registration for the 2015 CCSWP is now open.

Here is the current 2015 Institute Schedule

CCSWP Wethersfield
  • July 6th-17th (M-F)
    • Creative Writing Program
      • July 6th-17th, 9am-12pm
    • Poetry Program
      • July 6th-10th, 12:30pm-3:30pm
    • Nonfiction Program
      • July 13th-17th, 12:30pm-3:30pm
Student can sign up for one or all of the above programs. More information is available on our registration page

Check back for an update on this summer's programming. We are making some exciting changes this year that I can't wait to tell you all about.

We will hopefully be announcing additional sites in the coming days. Stay tuned!

Please, don't hesitate to ask any questions via phone or email.

I can't wait for the summer to start!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Registration Update

Hello CCSWP friends and family. We have had a lot of questions about this year's program.

I apologize for they delay in opening the registration for the 2015 CCSWP. I assure you we are working as hard as possible to have that registration up and running. We are waiting for an official confirmation of our facilities request.

With that said, I am 99% confident that our dates for the 2015 CCSWP will be July 6th - July 17th (M-F) once again at Silas Deane MS in Wethersfield.

We will be holding the program for two weeks only, but with full-day sessions (9am-3pm). The day will be divided: the morning session will be creative writing (for 2 weeks); and the afternoon of week 1 will be poetry, and the afternoons for week 2 will be non-fiction.

We are also exploring sites in Newington and New Britain. These would all run concurrently on the dates listed above.

Thank you again for your patience, and do not hesitate to send me any questions or concerns.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

CCSWP 2015

2014 was quite a year for the CCSWP!

2014 CCSWP Anthology
We had, once again, our largest summer institute ever. We published another amazing anthology of student work (which you can view and/or purchase here). At our anthology celebration, we were lucky enough to have a visit from author Padma Venkatraman. She told our young authors about how she began writing, and encouraged them to write frequently and with passion.

Speaking of our anthology celebration, I had a conversation with one of our parents that reminded me of how important the CCSWP is to our young people. 

This father told me that when he was looking for something for his daughter to do over the summer, he was having a bit of a struggle. If his daughter was passionate about soccer, or softball, he said, there were plenty of options.

There were travel teams and camps, but that's not what his daughter was interested in doing. "There are not many options for kids who are passionate about writing," the father told me. "That's why this program is so important." 

Padma Venkatraman
I have been thinking about what that parent said to me since October. I cannot wait to get started with the 2015 CCSWP. Here is some important information. 
  • We will be back in Wethersfield for 2015
  • There may be two or more locations as well
If you have any questions about CCSWP 2015, please call or email us.