Students learn to ‘search for stories’ in Bobby Hawthorne Experience

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.

Instructor Bobby Hawthorne discusses writing techniques during his class on July 30. Hawathorne said he wants students to dig deep for better angles.

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.”

2 Responses to “Students learn to ‘search for stories’ in Bobby Hawthorne Experience” »

Emily L says:
Aug 01, 2017

Hey, I’m Emily from opinion coverage. I loved how you split your story up, it breaks everything down when you’re are talking about the students assignments while keeping the reader engaged. If you were to add anything else to your story it could be one more short concluding sentence just to wrap it all up, although I did like the quotes that were included, it gives the reader something to reflect on and makes it more interesting.

Victoria says:
Aug 01, 2017

Hi, I’m Victoria from Opinion Coverage. I think you did a really nice job on this! It was very informative, yet interesting. Your quotes were also very engaging. I really liked your last “kicker” quote! Nice job!

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