Archive for category Creative Writing
The Jessamy Stursberg Poety Contest for Canadian Youth 2011
Deadline: January 15, 2011.
Categories: Junior (grades 7-9) and Senior (grades 10-12).
First place poems in each category will receive a cash prize of $350, second place winners will receive $300 and third place winners will receive $250.
All winning poems will be published in the League of Canadian Poets’ e-zine. All winners will receive Poetic Licence certificates and student membership in the League of Canadian Poets for one year. For detailed entry guidelines please visit: www.youngpoets.ca
Camper News Jan 2009
With only 160 days left till camp, we’ve busy here in the camp office! Summer may seem like a long way away, but we’re already hard at work… finalising staffing, planning the outline of programs, reaching out to new campers, and attending camp fairs!
Here’s some exciting staff updates for you all!
Jeanette Hedley is returning for to teach in summer 2009 … for her fifteenth summer! Jeanette has been a camper, counsellor, mentor-counsellor, Leadership Director, Activities Director and Program Director at Centauri over the years… camp wouldn’t be the same without her. She’s a super-talented teacher, but she wasn’t able to confirm in time for her name to appear on programs back in November.
We’re now delighted to announce that Jeanette will be teaching Dance Remix in Session Two, Musical Theatre Dance in Session 3 and Musical Theatre Triple Threat in session 4. We’re delighted to have her back with us! Jeanette’s programs do still have limited availability, so if you are interested in working with her, please call the camp office.
Our new Hip Hop/Jazz teacher is… Hilary Krull!
Hilary was a counsellor with us for several years, and Head of Brant. Now working professionally as a dancer and musical theatre performer, Hilary returns to teach Hip Hop and Jazz! If you would like to work with Hilary, we do still have a few spaces left on her program. As always, the vast majority of program directors and counsellors with us this coming summer will be returners.
Over 80% of program directors and counsellors return each year. In fact, this summer, we may only have 2 brand new program directors joining the team! For a full list of returning program directors, and the programs they are teaching, you can access the ‘biographies’ page on the website. There’s lots of information on them all, too – including the creative projects they are currently working on.
Most Counsellors Returning for Summer 2009! Yes – it’s true! The odds are that if you were at Centauri last summer, you’ll recognise the vast majority of counsellors! Andrea, Thea, Liz, Katie, Calypso, Kate, Becca, Charlee, Maria, Emily, Carol, Matt, Jeremy, Justin, Nick, Nikesh, James… all of them are returning for the summer! In addition, we have 6 assistant counsellors on staff, 5 of whom were campers last year. We’ll be hiring only 3 brand new counsellors for the summer.
Staff: What are they doing Right Now?
Jeanette has just returned from her travels in South Africa. Mladen is teaching in acting studios across Toronto. Julie is heading down to Mexico, to teach Drama in a Mayan village! Carol is going to Bangkok, to work as a volunteer in a children’s charity. Matt is studying Film in Montreal. Sofia is working on a project to teach film to a community in Northern Canada. Yonah is writing a screenplay. Laura is settling into a new job with a publishing company in Vancouver. Liz is in her first year at Harvard. Just some thoughts to remind you how busy our whole community is with their own creative, artistic and academic projects during the year.
Fringe Festivals 2009!
Last summer, we replaced the day trips in sessions 3 and 4 with Fringe Festivals, and the move was so popular that we’re doing the same again this year! We’re planning another Music Fringe, as well as a Film & Photography Fringe Festival.
So what special events are being planned for this summer? You can expect a Wizard of Oz Festival, a Peter Pen Festival, a Celebration of Pokemon, a Newfoundland Kitchen Party, an Indian Banquet, a British Banquet, a Shakespeare Fest and – in Session 4 – a special 2-day Medieval Village Fayre to celebrate the end of the summer.
Staff Winter Gathering
During the holidays, 25 of the camp staff gathering together for an annual night of games and craziness! As always, one objective was to raise money for charity… by having fun! We made up Winter jingles, competed in crazy Winter-themed quizzes and even did jigsaws… blindfolded! At the end of the evening, we had raised $80 for the Humane Society, $70 for the World Wildlife Fund, $90 for Oxfam and $90 for Medicin Sans Frontieres. Thanks to everyone who participated.
Fifteen Years Old – Some Exciting News!
Centauri Summer Camp turns 15 years old this year! We’re celebrating in a unique and exciting way… by bringing together staff, new and old, to join in an exciting performance event, to raise money to build a school in the developing world! In May, we will be holding a FIFTEEN HOUR PERFORMANCE MARATHON in Toronto. Dozens of amazing Centauri staff will gather together to perform continuously for 15 hours, in order to raise funds. Centauri has inspired thousands of campers over the past 15 years – and now we want to reach out with the confidence of a well-established arts organisation, to build a school in a village where children currently have no access to education. We’re going to be inviting campers, parents, alumni and anyone associated with Centauri to participate in this exciting event. You can join us as a volunteer or front-of-house staff, be our audience members and – of course – help us by sponsoring a staff member. Our goal is to raise $15-$20,000 to build our school. Centauri will then raise money annually to pay for text books and a teacher’s salary. Our hope is that in future years staff and campers will be able to visit Centauri’s school if they wish to, and work as volunteers. We’ll be sending out more information in the near future, but if you are interested in participating actively, please let us know. We are also eager to hear from members of our camp community who may own a food store, cafe or restaurant in the Toronto region, and may be willing to sponsor a meal for staff during this event. Please contact us with any offers of help! We invite all of you to participate in what will be one of the most exciting and far-reaching events Centauri has EVER organised!
So it’s late October, the leaves are falling, and the inspiration you found at camp in the writing programs is – well, fading. For our theatre, dance and film campers, there are many opportunities to keep the flame of inspiration alive through the year, but for campers interested in writing and art it’s a different story. If writing is your ‘thing’, here are some ideas to help you keep the creative sparks flying!
1. Write regularly!!! It doesn’t even matter what you write. Make it a part of your life on a daily basis. Journalling is a terrific way to do this.
2. Tell people: I’m a writer! As long as you’re keeping to number 1., this isn’t a lie – and it will do wonders for your ego.
3. Figure out who else loves writing at your school, or in your community, and set up a writing group. Meeting regularly with friends who love writing as much as you do will help get you feeling creative. What do do when you meet? See number 4!
4. Try out writing exercises regularly. They may not amount to anything but a bit of prose or poetry you can be proud of, but they will reinforce the fact that you CAN write and you LOVE to write! Here’s some ideas…
ONE: Get a novel you haven’t read. Turn to pages 6, 19 and 29. Let your eyes land on a phrase on each page. Write it out. Use the phrase in a piece of writing – a short story or poem. This idea can be used again and again.
TWO: Think about a space that is really ‘you’. Maybe your bedroom, or even just the space above your bed! Describe it carefully, in such a way that the reader would discover more about your personality by reading about the room. Now, imagine a space that may be special to you in ten years’ time. Write about that, describing objects carefully and showing how they are significant. Who will you be in ten years, and what will you own?
THREE: Have someone describe to you a story or film they remember. Stop them as soon as the plot begins to sound interesting. Scoot off somewhere and attempt to write the rest of the story/film plot. Later, rent the movie or read the story. How did that writer end it? This is a great exercise for learning about plot.
FOUR: Think about someone you know fairly well – a student in your class, for example. Describe them carefully as if you really like them, and want to be that person. Now, describe them again as if they have just betrayed you, and you feel angry at them. How do the two descriptions differ? This is a great exercise for active character creation.
FIVE: Have someone select five random objects and place them in front of you. Build them into a short story.
SIX: Listen to a piece of music. Close your eyes and visualise. Begin writing wat you see. Don’t take your pen off the paper until the music has stopped.
SEVEN: Choose a proverb and use it as the opening for a short story. Use the story to prove why the proverb is NOT true. “You can’t have your cake and eat it. That’s what I thought until my last birthday…”
EIGHT: Describe yourself as if you are a building, or a food. What building would you be? What kind of food?
NINE: Cut out a selection of photos and headlines from newspapers. Throw them into a bag, and whenever you’re short of something to write, draw one or two out, and be inspired!
TEN: Create a piece of ‘found poetry’ by randomly selecting phrases from a novel. Splice them together with your own words. When you read your poem back, you’ll be surprised that the phrases you chose seem interconnected, and not random at all…
5. Look for opportunities to share your work with others. Read it to family members. Submit to the school newspaper. When all else fails, self-publish, or just leave your poetry lying around! It’s a great feeling to think a stranger may be reading it (though never, ever attach your full name or any contact information).
6. If you are aged 9-13, subscribe to Stone Soup (http://www.stonesoup.com/ – it’s a terrific writing magazine.
Hope that helps!!! If you’re reading this, and you have any further thoughts, email me! Also, if you try any of the writing prompts and they work, send them along… I’d love to read them!