Thurber House is please to announce that we have received funding from the Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation to bring our creative writing programs to you for free or reduced cost! We would love to be in your library or classroom this spring. Please read below for more information about what we offer and how to schedule.

 Background:

Thurber House is a literary center downtown Columbus in the restored home of author James Thurber. We offer creative writing programs for students in elementary, middle, and high school. We are constantly changing, creating, and adapting these, so if there is an idea or genre you would like covered, please don’t hesitate to contact us. For all questions, ideas, or to schedule a workshop, please contact Meg Brown at megbrown@thurberhouse.org or 614-464-1032 ext. 16. We would love to bring our passion for creative writing to your library!

A brief description of our programs: 

Grades 2-3:

Dear Sully: Did you know that Columbus holds a Monster Convention and the monsters get very lonely here? To help them feel better, we work with students on the format and content of letters, how to address the envelope, and “mail” them to the monsters. We send back letters to the classroom from the monsters so the students get a response. It’s a fun and creative way to teach letter writing.

Fractured Fairy Tales: Who doesn’t love a good fairy tale? The villain probably doesn’t. Learn about point of view and create alternative stories, endings, settings, and more for some of our beloved fairy tales. This ties in perfectly with The True Story of the Three Little Pigsthat is a classroom favorite. 

Pet Diaries: These are not your typical pets! We’ll combine different animals to make “smanimals” (smushed animals) where you may have a giraffe head and a whale body. Where do you live? What do you look like? What is a day in your life like? There’s writing, drawing, and lots of laughter in this workshop. 

Any grade 4 and up (we modify the curriculum difficulty based on age group, goes through High School):

Ghost Writing Workshops: Ghouls, goblins and giggles, oh my! We will share the scary turned silly ghost story from James Thurber, go over the ins and outs of a good scary story, and then turn students loose to write their own. We focus on how to make it a suspenseful, page-turner, and how it can be successful without always being gory.  

Fable Writing Workshops: Ever wonder how Aesop came up with all of those fables? How do you write a story that ends with a moral? Have no fear because we will Join our fantastic teachers as you hear examples of fables from James Thurber, learn what makes a fable, and then put your imagination to work composing your own. 

Create-a-World: J.K. Rowling took real-life London but also imagined an entire new world complete with wizards, Quidditch, different rules, and more. How did she do that? We’ll meet at Platform 9 ¾ and delve into how to make your very own world from scratch. It can be as “normal” or crazy as you want! This teaches setting, character development, and more. 

Superhero vs. Villains: Even superheroes have bad days and even villains have a heart, sometimes. We delve into what makes us love and hate these characters and how to make them “human” enough so that we care. You do not have to know a lot about superheroes or villains or even like that genre to have fun with this. All good stories have solid protagonists and antagonists and this is a great way to work on it.   

Fractured Fairy Tales: Who doesn’t love a good fairy tale? The villain probably doesn’t. Learn about point of view and create alternative stories, endings, settings, and more for some of our beloved fairy tales. This ties in perfectly with The True Story of the Three Little Pigsthat is a classroom favorite.(This Is also listed for 2/3 grade and can be adapted for all grades.)

Poetry 101:Roses are red…we’re all tired of this one. Many students don’t realize that poems don’t have to rhyme or that they can be funny, short, long, song lyrics, etc. We bust through misconceptions of poetry and cover several different types in a short amount of time to keep them going. Haikus, acrostic, list poems, and even limericks will be covered. This is a great workshop to celebrate Poetry Month in April.

Journaling:Dear Diary is so last generation. We’ll bring notebooks that students can decorate and make their own while talking about what journaling. We’ll have a few fun prompts to get them started but the goal is to encourage students to write outside of school on their own whether its stories, poetry, or what is going on in their world. Everyone has a story to tell, sometimes you just need a cool journal for inspiration.

These programs are made possible by funding from the Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation. 

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 Thanks to the Greater Columbus Arts Council, the James W. Overstreet Fund of The Columbus Foundation, and The Ohio Arts Council for their ongoing support of our programs.