“Writers’ Week” Returns in 2017! July 16th – 22nd!

The Black Dog Tall Ships is excited to team up with the staff from Merlyn’s Pen for the 7th(!) annual “Writer’s Week” program aboard the schooner Shenandoah. This program combines the passion and experience of two New England companies with over 50 years of combined experience working with children and teenagers. “Writer’s Week” brings together the standard “Kids Cruise” camp program with daily writing workshops, creative activities, and personal feedback from the Merlyn’s Pen editors to create an amazing experience and opportunity.

The writing is fun, the improv games are a highlight. Small group activities explore the writer’s craft—from practicing close observation and turning those observations into similes and metaphors that stick, to activities and games that help writers build interesting characters and create suspense. Best of all, Merlyn’s Pen editors are on deck all day for individual mentoring, feedback, and sharing. Following breakfast and cleanup each morning–and again after the day’s sail–writers get together to share their work, journal-writes, and brainstorms. Sailing and swimming follow in the afternoon; each day is different!

Whether it’s poetry, stories, essays, fantasies, sci-fi, ghost stories, or one-act plays, “Writer’s Week” campers love to write! With personal and group workshops from the Merlyn’s Pen staff, campers will leave this program with sharper writing skills and wheeling imaginations.

About Merlyn’s Pen

Merlyn’s Pen directs the New Library of Young Adult Writing at www.merlynspen.org and has mentored, published and launched the careers of America’s strongest young writers since 1985. Its magazines were popular in U.S. classrooms for 15 years, winning several editorial awards, mentions in Time magazine and the New York Times, and feature coverage in the Christian Science Monitor. Reprints from Merlyn’s Pen magazines appear in textbooks and magazines in 11 countries, and novels by several writers published as teens in Merlyn’s Pen have won national awards. Merlyn’s Pen was founded by R. James Stahl, who now lives and writes in Rhode Island. In its 15 years in print, Merlyn’s Pen received some 140,000 submissions and responded with a personal note to nearly every one of them. Today, the New Library of Young Adult Writing sponsors national writing contests and offers educators a free resource of top fiction by teens for teens to inspire the next generation of writers.

Program Details

  • Passengers board vessel on Sunday, July 16th at 7:00pm and disembark on Saturday the 22nd at Noon from the Black Dog Wharf in Vineyard Haven.
  • Cost is the standard Summer Camp rate – $1,100 per passenger. – All reservations made through the Black Dog Tall Ships office by calling 508-693-1699.
  • “Writer’s Week” is suggested for passengers between the ages of 12 and 17 years-old (younger passengers may of course join as well).

 

“Writers’ Week” Sample Daily Schedule

7:00am – 8:00am: Wake Up and Deck Wash
Campers wake and join the crew for the daily deck scrubbing and clean up of the Shenandoah.

8:00am – 9:30am: Breakfast in the Main Saloon

10:00am – 12:00pm: First Writing Workshop
Campers are divided into groups to work with the Merlyn’s Pen teaching artist. The workshops are generative and immersive creative writing exercises for all genres. Each class focuses on a new literary technique to sharpen and explore. Exercises in metaphor, dialogue, stark imagery, personal narrative, the omniscient voice, and character development are introduced while toying with exciting prompts to inspire fiction, poetry, song writing or personal/comedic essay.

12:30pm – 1:30pm: Lunch Served on Deck

1:30pm – 2:30pm: Siesta/Personal Time/Swimming/Optional Mentoring Sessions
Campers are offered free time to take a nap, write on their own, meet one-on-one with the Merlyn’s Pen teaching artists, play cards, socialize or ask the crew questions about sailing.

2:30pm – 4:30pm: Set Sail/Sailing Lessons
Wind permitting, campers take a hands-on approach to sailing. They work alongside the crew as we sail around the sound. Lessons on the basics of sailing include knot tying, line identification, chart reading and rowing.

5:00pm – 6:30pm: Second Writing Workshop
Campers are divided into groups to work with the Merlyn’s Pen teaching artist. The workshops are generative and immersive creative writing exercises for all genres. Each class focuses on a new literary technique to sharpen and explore. Exercises in metaphor, dialogue, stark imagery, personal narrative, the omniscient voice, and character development are introduced while toying with exciting prompts to inspire fiction, poetry, song writing or personal/comedic essay.

6:30pm – 7:30pm: Dinner in the Main Saloon

7:30pm – 8:00pm: Nightly Stories with the Captain

8:00pm – 10:00pm: Reading/Journaling/Personal Time

10:00pm: Lights Out

Schedule is subject to change due to wind and weather conditions, or trips to the shore. There will also be a Talent Show mid-week, and a Final Salon Reading of student work at the end of the trip.