Gaithersburg Book Festival Children’s Workshops Will Inspire Creativity as Writing, Spoken Word and Design are Explored
From designing pop-up books and comic books, to expressing creativity with the spoken and written word, to preparing for college, the children’s workshops at the fifth annual Gaithersburg Book Festival have something for everyone. The free workshops, which are led by writing and design professionals from around the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, will take place on Saturday, May 17, from 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. on the grounds of City Hall (31 South Summit Avenue, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20877).
“This year, we are fortunate to bring together a collection of some of the best and brightest workshop leaders, who we hope will inspire a love of writing and expression in our youngest festival participants,” said Kathy Crutcher, chair of children’s workshops for the Gaithersburg Book Festival and founder of Shout Mouse Press. “The Gaithersburg Book Festival offers a great way for children to explore their creativity, try a workshop for free and learn more about the programs in the area that they can take advantage of year round.”
The workshops include:
Design Your Own Pop-Up Book (Ages 7-12) – 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Presented by Heidi Bishop
This workshop is a fun arts activity in which participants are introduced to the field of book arts and are guided through the development of their own pop-up book.
Whose Story?: Kids’ Books by Teen Authors (Ages 5+) – 11 a.m. – Noon
Presented by Kathy Crutcher, Shout Mouse Press
Who can become a published author? Ask the teens of Reach Incorporated, who wrote and published their own original children’s books with the help of Shout Mouse Press. Join us for a reading and discussion of their books and then put story-telling principles into action as you brainstorm and pitch your own book.
Implement BookTalks into Your School and Home (All ages) – Noon – 12:30 p.m.
Presented by Scholastic
A booktalk is a short, engaging and enthusiastic presentation that integrates reading, writing and speaking and is designed to inspire others to read the same book. Research indicates kids don’t read as much as they might because they lack recommendations, especially those from peers. During this workshop, parents and children will learn how to leverage booktalks at home and in the classroom.
Fiction Writing: Create Your Own Stories! (Ages 7+) – 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Presented by Genna Koldhart and Alex Henderson, Writopia Lab
Do your children like writing fantasy? Realistic fiction? Or are dystopian worlds more their style? If they do, then this workshop is for them. Writers will be encouraged to create a piece of fiction through original Writopia creative writing games, while getting feedback from published authors trained in the Writopia method. At the end of the workshop, writers are encouraged to read their work and receive constructive feedback from fellow writers and instructors.
Fly Language: Poetry Raising Up (Ages 8+) – 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Presented by the D.C. Youth Slam Team
Spoken word poetry has inspired many generations to step up to the blank page and express themselves, then take the mic on stage to perform that poetic expression. Students from the D.C. Youth Poetry Slam Team, which ranked second in the nation at the 2013 Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival, will lead this writing workshop with help from their coach, Jonathan B. Tucker, hoping to engage and inspire participants with creative writing that rises up from the page. Participants will write and share poetry based on prompts and activities developed by the teenage poets of Split This Rock. No experience necessary, but having fun is mandatory.
Creating a Character (Ages 8+) – 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Presented by Laurie Ascoli, Young Playwrights’ Theater
In this interactive workshop, participants will use their imaginations to create and write a monologue for an original character. Through games and activities, they will understand the importance of conflict in playwriting, working with a partner to create an imaginary conflict for their characters and write dialogue around it. At the end of the workshop, they will act out their monologues and dialogues for each other.
My 1st Comic Cover (Ages 7+) – 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Presented by Timothy Craggette, RAYTIMandROB & Art Way Alliance Instructor
In this workshop participants will learn what makes an effective, dynamic comic book cover and get a brief understanding of the process of inking and coloring. We’ll see how an inker adds dimension to illustrations by defining the moods and setting of the penciler’s drawing, and learn how colorists prepare layouts for print. During the ink and color portion of the workshop participants will be able to ink and color their own pre-drawn comic book sketch cover to take home.
College Admissions Essays: Writing Your Way into College(High-school age) – 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Presented by Khadijah Wilson, Writopia Lab
In this workshop, Writopia instructors will help college-bound high school students identify unique and meaningful personal stories and tell them in their authentic voices. Instructors will provide guidance on structure and editing and will help students explore themes, expand on ideas and create drafts.
No pre-registration is required for these free workshops; participants should just plan to show up at the time their preferred workshop is scheduled to start. All workshops are limited to 20 participants.