YOUNG AUTHOR PROJECt
The Young Author Project, Deep's introductory program, engages public middle school students with language and their stories to help them express themselves with skill, confidence, and courage. This after-school program is exclusively for middle grades public school students, with a typical workshop size of 14 youth. Each student is selected for a full Young Author Scholarship by a teacher at their school based on demonstrated need, enthusiasm, and dedication. With three key elements, our award-winning program provides a challenging and fun approach to creative writing:
- Our writing fellows: enthusiastic, experienced writer-mentors with expertise in and a passion for creative writing.
- A project-based learning curriculum with one compelling reason to write—and write well: to become a published author.
- A workshop atmosphere that inspires lots of personal mentorship, trust, and sharing.
Select young authors are chosen by their peers to read their published works at Deep Speaks, the Youth Author Project's end-of-semester book launch and live reading before 550 family members, peers, and community members.
Block by Block
Block by Block, Deep Center's advanced, year-long creative writing program, supports 24 young authors (ages 12-18) from Savannah's West Side and surrounding neighborhoods to research, document, and tell the past and present stories of their families, streets, and community through creative writing and art. Each student is selected for a fully-funded Block by Block scholarship based on demonstrated need, enthusiasm, and dedication.
Meeting in the Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum, young writers leave the four walls of the typical institutionalized learning environment to conduct street-level community research, discover Savannah’s unfolding stories, and find their own stories’ place in Savannah and society at large.
Midway through the program, artists visit to engage students in rendering their stories through visual and other arts. Youth art informs the development, in collaboration with adult artists, of works of public art, including a mural, that amplify student and community stories.
To celebrate the young authors' writing, and by extension, their community, Block by Block culminates in a block party featuring public art, a live reading by young authors, foods, games, and lots of joy.
Three key elements make this a challenging a fun approach to creative community engagement:
- Our master writing fellows: enthusiastic, experienced mentors with expertise in and a passion for creative writing.
- A project-based learning curriculum infused with community engagement to connect students and their personal stories to current and historical narratives of their neighborhoods and society at-large.
- A workshop atmosphere that creates lots of personal mentorship, trust, and sharing.
The application process for this program is currently closed. However, we will begin accepting applications in fall 2016.
Block by Block is funded by NEA Our Town, the State Farm Youth Advisory Board, the United Way Coastal Empire, and the Savannah Department of Cultural Affairs.