While the schools are closed, the Workshop will continue to provide resources and services online. During the first half of 2020, we did this via email, Facebook and Instagram. We were able to keep our writing community together and connected. Many participated and some excellent poetry was written by our students.
The D.C. Creative Writing Workshop was formed in early 2000, so 2020 is our 20th anniversary! We held a 20th Anniversary Gala on February 25 at the Anacostia Busboys & Poets. Along with readings and performances from students and Writers-in-Residence, we presented awards to Ward 8 Councilmember Trayon White for his longtime support for youth programs and to well-known D.C. poet and arts educator Kenneth Carroll who helped create our program years ago.
Workshop students won first place for 8th grade and honorable mentions for 6th, 7th and 8th grades in the Junior League of Washington Poetry Competition. Our students also won three awards in the Gabriela Mistral Youth Poetry Competition, second place for young adults and two honorable mentions for ages 14 to 16.
In the 2019 Parkmont Poetry Contest, nine of the 40 winners were Workshop students. Eight of the 20 winners in the middle school division are Hart Middle School students and one of the high school winners is a Ballou student. Hart tied the prestigious Sidwell Friends School for most winners this year.
On March 12, the Workshop published the 47th issue of hArtworks, the nation’s first inner-city public middle school literary magazine. Twenty-two students read their poems to a cheering crowd at Busboys & Poets on K Street. hArtworks is again featured in the 2019 Poet’s Market as “an outstanding example of what a literary journal can be (for anyone of any age).”