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November 20, 2011
by: Michaela Gandy, Publications Intern, IDEAS Academy

Students attend Whitewater writing festival

Seven IDEAS Academy students attended the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater High School Creative Writing Festival Wednesday, November 16. Ali Chapman, junior, won the Drama/Screen Play Honorable Mention Award for her script, "Never Really Knew You".

The Festival gives students experience in exposing their writing to professional judging as well as to discussion and evaluation by an audience.

“It didn’t feel like you were being judged; the feedback given didn’t make you feel as if you lost,” said Davina Boykin, a freshman who entered three poems and attended six different workshops. “It was nice to see a college campus and how it works, also.”

About 800 students, teachers and writers from all over Wisconsin and Illinois participated in the event.

“Incredible, seeing so many people perform different arts, what they think and what they write, “said Stephanie Lesperance, a sophomore and first year participant in the Festival.

There are 11 different categories students can enter: Children’s Literature, Essay, Multimedia, Tales of Terror and Mystery, Poetry, Prose Poetry/Flash Fiction, Short Fiction, Science Fiction, Humor, Drama/Screenplay, and Song Lyrics. Students can also share their talents during open mic.             

Laura Obear, junior, was the only student from IDEAS to participate in the song lyrics workshop.

“I like that they judge on the writing. Yeah, I can play guitar and sing well, but I was judged on the lyrical content of my song,” Obear said.

IDEAS Academy is based on the community feel of a school, one that feeds off positive and critical feedback, so attending the Festival makes sense.

“[It is an] excellent idea for students to attend Whitewater. We work on these projects for a long time and get feedback from our community, but [we need] to go out further and get feedback from a different community’s aspect,” said Chapman.

Participants included:

Davina Boykin, freshman, Poetry, "Disguise", "Passersby", "Fight the Rain"  
Ali Chapman, junior, Drama or Screenplay, "Never Really Knew You."
Vanessa Diaz, senior, Science Fiction/Fantasy, "Memory"
Taylor Gebert, freshman, Science Fiction/Fantasy, "The Vampire Hangout"
Steph Lesperance, junior, Drama or Screenplay, "It's a Struggle"
Laura Obear, junior, Song Lyrics, "Tricks”
Cherokee Rieley, junior, Drama or Screenplay, "I Miss Them"

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