At this year’s MIPA Summer Workshop, high school students from across the state of Michigan and beyond have the opportunity to learn how to create powerful stories in The Bobby Hawthorne Experience class.
According to Hawthorne, author of The Radical Write and numerous other journalism textbooks, the way these students learn storytelling may be totally different from the way they may have experienced writing in school. Hawthorne doesn’t lecture, but instead shares lessons through his experience as a journalist in Texas. The message is clear: Hawthorne urges his students to search for stories where stories are, even if they are from the most unlikely of places.
In five assignments over the course of four days, students will edit their stories line-by-line to clearly see the evolution of their writing and get familiar with the writing process.
Komalpreet Kaur from Portage Northern High School in Kalamazoo said, “For the first assignment, (Hawthorne) didn’t have a lot of rules or guidelines, so we just had to wing it. He was just trying to see what we come up with by ourselves. There are so many different ways to write, and choosing one way to show our style was hard.”
Hawthorne said his priority this week is to get his students to show confidence in their own writing.
“I have to get them to the point where they want to write, and then they want in their voice and not some artificial voice that’s been foisted upon them,” Hawthorne said. “That sounds easy, but it’s really quite hard to do because you have to get them to get the courage to take these big risks.”