Equip 40 Baltimore City students with everything they need to embark on a fully-immersive (virtual!) writing camp adventure this summer. Even apart, we can imagine a new world together, but we can’t do it without YOU!
How You Can Help
Your donation will fund a 6-day virtual Writers' Studio for 40 Baltimore City middle and high school students. Our goal of $20,000 will pay a staff of 12 to run the Studio, as well as provide laptops, wifi, and tech support for the young writers who need it to attend. Half of the Studio’s staff will be composed of WBS alumni.
Meeting the Needs of Baltimore Students in a New Way
Since 2012, our favorite part of the Writers in Baltimore Schools year has been gathering under the hot Baltimore sun with suitcases, bug spray, notebooks, and pens and taking a big yellow bus out to the woods to write together.
This is where and how our community is built — a week of morning announcements and writing exercises, of shared stories read out loud in class or whispered late at night to a roommate. Students combine a rigorous class schedule of workshops ranging from story structure, character, and plot to journalism techniques to grammar and revision with activities like ghost story night, pool time, hikes, and ’smores around a campfire. Together, we forge a place of safety and challenge from which to explore the world around us with heart, craft, and vision.
Through the years, our alumni have become an important part of the Studio structure — returning as counselors and mentors and developing lessons of their own to share with new students. We invite you to read our 2019 Studio Anthology, featuring the work of many of these alumni.
““We were more than just a writing camp. We were a writing family.” — Jauniece Brown
But this summer, to care for each other, we can’t be together in the woods.
What The New Studio Will Look Like
Instead, this August, we’ll bring 40 young writers together for a virtual Writers’ Studio, under the instruction of writers and WBS alumni who will bring the spirit of camp to our new virtual space.
“Through camp, I gained faith in myself and my writings.” — Kenniah Woodson
You can help provide 6 days of workshops led by WBS instructors and alumni, a care package with materials, goodies, and snacks, and a laptop and wifi connection when needed.
From Monday, August 3rd to Saturday, August 8th, our young writers' days will consist of a mix of workshops and classes; connection activities with a small cohort of peers; and one-on-one time with an instructor for feedback and enrichment. To better accommodate our students' needs as they navigate this unique moment, we've developed several flexible tracks to ensure access to the program even if there are other demands on their time.
“Camp gave me space to be myself and challenge how I thought about myself and the way I write, and to experiment with it without needing to impress anyone. It’s the most freeing experience I’ve ever had.” — Mandy Berry
Even though this summer things are different for all of us, keeping this week alive is vital. Because coming together to write is how we learn to think, how we learn to transform, how we learn to imagine a new world, and how we learn to make that world a reality.
“When we had to part after those few days, it was surprisingly painful. A sudden stab in the heart. Because there was still more to be said, more to be explored, more to be learned and written and re-written and shared.” - Anastasia Farley
Who We Are
“WBS is more than a program or a camp. It is like home. I found myself in my writing. WBS is like a family, a forever family.” — Bryonna
Founded in 2008, WBS empowers the voices of Baltimore City students through in-school, after-school, and summer programming that builds skills in literacy and communication while creating a community of support for young writers. We have served 1000+ Baltimore City students through 58 in-school courses, 56 after-school writing clubs and 11 multi-day summer programs. We give underserved students a smaller, more participatory setting to hone reading and writing skills.
Writers in Baltimore Schools is a program of Fusion Partnerships, Inc., a 501(c)(3) fiscal agent for grassroots programs.
WBS student writing has appeared in the Poetry Foundation blog, The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun, The Baltimore City Paper, and Baltimore Beat. For the past six summers, WBS students have received full scholarships to attend the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio and the Kenyon Review Young Writers Workshop. In 2018, two WBS alumni served as delegates to the inaugural International Congress of Youth Voices.
“Not only was I able to have the opportunity to be taught and guided by so many talented and accomplished writers at WBS, all of whom improved and built upon my craft, I was also able to grow and share this experience with other writers my age.” — Anastasia Farley
Learn more: www.writersinbaltimoreschools.org