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December 8, 2015
by: Sarah Williams, Étude Studios Writing Intern

Whitewater Creative Writing Festival 2015: Students Present Work, Offer Feedback

IDEAS Academy students traveled to the UW-Whitewater High School Creative Writing Festival on November 18. Twenty-five students and two teachers attended the event, with 17 students submitting work to be critiqued by college professors, professional writers and peers, and the others coming along as support for friends and to hear other presenters. In addition to entering creative writing, two students created mixed media pieces to be shown at the festival.

“It was really fun!" said freshman Alexis Theune of the Festival. "I’m going to go next year. I did open mic this year and I felt really exhilarated afterwards.” This year was Theune’s first time attending the festival, and while she didn’t enter any work to be critiqued, she did attend workshops and offer feedback to others. “I liked the workshops because I got to hear other people’s work; it was really interesting. I got ideas for what I could submit next year.”

Sophomore Hannah Staats submitted to the Flash Fiction/Prose Poetry category and won second place with her piece entitled “Adrienne”. This was Staats’s third time attending the festival, and her second time placing in the awards ceremony.

While the general morale of the students was high regarding the festival in general, many agreed that the feedback from professors was not what they expected.

“I wanted to receive more feedback from the adult judges, some of the judges running the rounds were good with discussion [about the writing] and others weren’t.” said Staats.

“The students [at the workshops] were more helpful than the feedback from the adults.” said Autumn Willard, senior. This was Autumn’s third time attending the Festival.

Nearly 800 students from Wisconsin and Illinois attended the Festival in this, its 31st year.

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