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Flint Hill steps up Writer’s Day

Senior+Leyla+Ebrahimi+presents+at+Writer%27s+Day
Senior Leyla Ebrahimi presents at Writer's Day

Senior Leyla Ebrahimi presents at Writer's Day

Photo Credit: Photo Cred: Flint Hill Flickr

Photo Credit: Photo Cred: Flint Hill Flickr

Senior Leyla Ebrahimi presents at Writer's Day

By Peter Heller, Staff Writer

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How do we get more students interested in writing? It’s a question that teachers in the English department often ask themselves. This led to the creation of Writers Day, which helps students learn about the writing process and encourages students to pursue their writing-related interests.  

Monday, April 2 was the annual Writers Day at Flint Hill, and this year things were done differently than previous years. Instead of having students gather in the Upper School gym to hear speeches, the organizers decided to have a rotating schedule of small group sessions with visiting writers. This change was made to allow everyone to engage with authors in a more personal setting.

“We wanted to connect more students with more writers, particularly writers in different fields, like politics or the arts or research.” said English Department Chair Mr. Copenhaver, who organized the event.

Several notable authors who came to the event include crime fiction author, Alan Orloff, and National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar award recipient and Flint Hill English Teacher, monet cooper. Other speakers include former Flint Hill students and other Upper School teachers like Classics Department Chair and Classics Teacher, Ms. Kate Hattemer, and English Department Chair and Teacher, Mr. Copenhaver. Both of them are published authors.

“I loved the new format for Writers’ Day,” said Ms. Hattemer. “I think it provided a more intimate and interesting experience for the students than one big Town Meeting presentation, and it showcased all the different ways that writing intertwines into careers.”

When asked about the importance of the event and the significance of writing, Mr. Copenhaver said, “Communication is what makes the world go around, and miscommunication or poor communication is often what disrupts or stymies growth. Writing and language are at the heart of communication, so it’s vital that we emphasize writing and re-enforce its importance to our education.”

Writers Day began with a live stream panel with several visiting guest authors. Mr. Copenhaver said, “[The live stream] was an attempt to make the panel more intimate. The gym isn’t an ideal space for an event of that sort. Like all tech innovations, we hit a few pitfalls, but we’re learning from those mistakes.”

Although the live stream was initially beset by a myriad of technical glitches, students were still able to learn a lot from the forum. Following the conclusion of the live stream, students were dismissed to pre-assigned rooms where they could learn more about their own writing interests in small panels with visiting authors and writers.

The School brought in many notable authors to lead presentations with topics such as nonfiction writing, poetry, and journalism. These presentations  reminded students about the diversity of writing and how important writing is in our day to day lives.

“I liked Writers’ Day because it gave me a chance to look at the type of writing I’m interested in. The panels were way better than the town meeting presentation because it allowed us to interact with the people in the presentations.,” said Junior Sameer Bahethi.

This year’s writer’s day was a success. By encourage students’ interests in writing and allowing everyone to interact with different writers, the event made students more aware of the process and important nature of writing. The updated format kept the event fresh and interesting, while also allowing students to pursue their individual passions.

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Flint Hill steps up Writer’s Day