Saturday, May 14, 2011

What is inkPulse?
Continuing the Writers Guild of Alberta’s 15 year tradition of bringing you writing focused camps for youth we present an exciting and dynamic writing day camp for teens!
At inkPulse, we tap into your imagination through creation, collaboration and diversity! Talented Canadian artists join forces to bring you exciting lessons incorporating movement, sound, performance and writing exercises, all designed to inspire text creation. The days are jam-packed. You will work individually, in small groups and with the entire ensemble; classes are taught by individual instructors, pairs of teachers and the whole teaching team.

There are 4 locations: Edmonton, Calgary, Lethbridge and Grande Prarie

How Much Does it Cost?
 The tuition for the week is $185.
This includes supervision and instruction as well as supplies, a t-shirt and food at the wrap-up event.
Participants must provide their own lunch.

Email Tracy Johnson, inkPulse Coordinator, at
Call the Writers Guild of Alberta  (780) 422-8174 OR (800) 665-5354 (Alberta only)

I was able to directly ask Tracy some questions about this day camp: 

How would this conference compare to say a college level writing course?

-We try and create a more playful writing environment than a formal course may take. Many of these kids’ experiences with writing have taken place in a classroom and we want to give them something a little different. We try and create an atmosphere that is high energy, friendly and facilitates freedom for exploration. We want the kids to feel comfortable to try something new and our lessons work to create texts that may have otherwise stayed hidden in their imaginations forever!

Will it give teens an idea of what a future in writing would look like for them? 

-Some of our instructors and guests teach focused skills for their future writing, like how to submit a piece of writing to a publisher etc. and each lesson teaches important skills like editing and plot development etc. Most, if not all, instructors and guests bring along copies of their books for the kids to see and hence show them what can come of their writing. But most importantly, the instructors and guests are open to questions and discussion with our participants as to what the writing life is like, giving the kids wonderful insight.

What kind of materials will the teens bring home with them? (physical and educational) that can be put into practice?

-Some of our instructors and guests give handouts during their lessons but the majority of the work that takes place focuses more on learning by doing, instead of learning through theory and therefore the kids take home experiences that help with their future work vs. physical reference materials. Not only is there tons of writing exercises we have the kids jump head first into, but we incorporate physical activities for text inspiration and exploration. We have had professional clowns work with us, movement specialists, and drama teachers too. The kids love to explore this side of our camps which works to challenge our kids to think outside the box when it comes to their understanding of where ideas for text creation come from.  

Are they going to be sitting at a desk all day?

-If you mean, ‘is the camp like school’? well, definitely not! We want to break out of the typical mold of instruction. Of course, we do dedicate time for individual writing so the kids can create those texts that our courses inspire, but even this time is not constrained by excess rules or guidelines, instead we have the kids work on whatever feels natural for them.

You mention subsidies on the Writer's Guild Website, can you expand?

-We don’t want a potential participant to be constrained by their family’s financial situation and so we offer bursaries for those in need of a little assistance with the tuition fee ($185 for the week). We were proud to give out nearly $1000 in bursaries last year. All we ask is for the family to include a letter of request with their application stating the amount that is needed (most families contribute what they can and we try to cover the rest) and the general circumstances that have created this need (ex. Single parent household, or laid off from job etc.).

Check out our inkPulse Facebook page, there are some great pics there.!/group.php?gid=86988683212&v=wall

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