Friday, November 30, 2007
Posted by Rebecca Wallace-Segall
Over the months last fall, one of my 8th graders worked arduously on her first screenplay. She brainstormed, wrote & rewrote, enthusiastically showed up for regular meetings with me, and then sent it in to the Scholastic Art & Writing event with the hopes of being awarded with a regional or national award. The previous fall, she had won a regional award from Scholastic for a short story and was feeling confident about her new endeavor.
But by March the news came in: She was our only 8th grader who hadn't been recognized by Scholastic last year. I asked her (out of sheer curiosity) if she thought she'd wasted her time since she hadn't been recognized. "What?" she retorted in shock. "Now I know I want to be either a screenwriter or a director!" With that, we promptly began working on a play that she entered into Stephen Sondeim's Young Playwrights competition. She won third place and we had a ball at the award ceremony.
She is currently working on her third script--she will be sending it into Scholastic this January.
I wish I had included an aspect of this anecdote in the Wall Street Journal piece. There is so much joy that is involved with creative writing projects. It really isn't just about winning or losing.