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Eighth-Graders Hone Writing Skills with Help from Published Authors

A slew of professional writers descended upon Wydown Middle School on Monday, Jan. 7, to share their expertise with the school’s eighth-graders. Through a variety of engaging workshops, the Professional Writers’ Day gave students on Teams 8 East and 8 West the opportunity to learn from published authors, journalists, a playwright, a songwriter and a graphic novelist, among others.


The workshops required students to think outside the box and, in some cases, leave their comfort zones to produce different types of written work. From collaborating with author Brian Katcher to develop a Wikipedia page on Klondike Park (following the students’ recent field trip there) to writing a sports column about the St. Louis Cardinals’ Game Six win in the 2011 World Series with Clayton High School alum and University of Missouri-Columbia journalism student Peter Baugh (‘15), students were able to gain real-life writing experience in a variety of ways. They were also encouraged to share their writing with their classmates and gain feedback as part of the writing process.


Writing is a skill that is important across all disciplines, not just in Literacy class. The Professional Writers’ Day gave students a chance to improve their own writing skills while teaching them how they can turn their passion for writing into a career - whether by writing books, plays, songs or other works. And even for students who might not be planning to follow a writing career path, the day’s workshops helped to better prepare them for all of the writing their future has in store, both in school and in life.