Teaching artist Emily Klingensmith recently led artists in Spoken Word at Women's Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center (WERDCC) in A Dickens of a Writing Workshop.
"The writers took part in a three week creative examination of Charles Dicken's short story, A Christmas Carol. They worked in conversation with the text, springboarding off the themes, atmosphere and characters from this familiar tale to create their own unique versions and visions. No rules, just pure artistic expression and a lot of unique style by this talented group of writers," says Klingensmith.
The virtual class was split into three sessions (referred to as "staves" in the syllabus, winking at the source material). They first reviewed the text as a group and wrote reflections using provided prompts. In the second session, they shared their writing and began to experiment with stylistic choices that reflected the writing of the period, ultimately writing pieces from the perspective of an imagined character in the world of the story. The final assignment was to continue with that character or the perspective of a new character - and write a unique short story, in conversation with A Christmas Carol text.