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Support the 2017 Young Writers' Workshops!

“Writing expresses who you are as a person. Writing is portable and permanent. It makes your thinking visible. Writing equips you with the communication and thinking skills you need to participate effectively in democracy.” 
–What Makes Writing So Important?
Twice each summer, Humanities Tennessee brings together groups of young people to pursue their love of writing at the Young Writers’ Workshops. Students who attend the workshops do not have to be experienced writers; they must only have an interest in writing and a desire to develop that interest. The development of writing skills has a positive impact on all areas of a student’s academic and personal life, from writing papers and learning to critique, to public speaking and preparing college essays, to participating in civic and community life.
This year we are celebrating the 20th annual Tennessee Young Writers’ Workshop (TYWW), held July 9-15 at Cumberland University in Lebanon, and the 6th annual Appalachian Young Writers’ Workshop (AYWW), held June 18-24 at Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate. Each workshop is a weeklong, residential program where students can devote time to their craft in a creative environment with outstanding faculty and supportive peers. Since the workshops’ inception, nearly 1,000 aspiring young writers have come through the program, with an average of 50 percent receiving full or partial scholarships. This has all been made possible by donors like you. 
Whatever genre a student chooses to pursue at the workshops, the skills learned there will transfer over to any other kind of writing. Writing poetry helps one learn to be precise and concise with language. Songwriting helps the student express emotions and develop natural rhythms in prose. Screenwriting teaches the young writer to create a world with minimal description. Creative nonfiction encourages students to share their own stories and work through whatever issues they may be facing in their lives. All students learn skills that help them write outstanding school and college entry essays, that will be invaluable in the workplace, and that will help them to articulate themselves and to understand others.
What young writers receive through these one-week workshops stays with them forever. There are former students who now work in publishing and who have published books of their own. Many have gone to college because living on a campus for this one week opened their minds to the possibility that they might just belong there. Some have returned to work as workshop faculty or staff. Others have gone on to volunteer in their own communities, passing on the love of writing to younger generations. 
There are young writers in this program whose family situations are huge barriers to their writing passion. Often, it is a teacher who sees the student’s talent, who encourages them to apply, and who sometimes even drives them to the workshop and picks them up. It is one of the great strengths of these workshops that a student’s background does not prevent attendance. The tuition fees are quite reasonable, just $650 for TYWW and $450 for AYWW for the room, board, instructors, and counselors. But even this amount is out of reach for some of our state’s promising young writers. Thanks to people like you who believe that young people need and deserve to develop their potential, we are able to offer scholarships that make the workshops diverse. This is a benefit to all of the students. 
The generosity of our donors makes the Young Writers’ Workshops and the experiences they produce possible. This year, as we celebrate 20 years, we once again ask for your help in sustaining the workshops. Gifts at any level are vital and greatly appreciated. With your support, we will continue to provide these programs to students from all backgrounds and all corners of the state, helping them to cultivate the writing skills that will serve them well in their academic, personal, and civic lives. Please consider a contribution this year to the Appalachian and Tennessee Young Writer’s Workshops. Every gift makes a difference in helping young Tennesseans find their literary voices.