Featured Writing: Ironwood Writers Studio
Writers featured from the Ironwood Writers Studio, 2023:
The Miner's Monologue
A Word of Advice
An oracle, a Fortune Teller, an Artist
Ironwood Writers Studio Students, Summer 2023
Ironwood Writers Studio Staff, Summer 2023 (l-r):
Melissa Helton, director; Lauren Crawford, Caroline Cooper,
Karen Salyer McElmurray, Shawna Kay Rodenberg,
Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle, Bernard Clay
In June, 2023, Hindman Settlement School was delighted to welcome a dozen high school writers to our second Ironwood Writers Studio. Students came from our local schools in Knott County, across central and eastern Kentucky, and from as far afield as North Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia. Ironwood is a creative writing week for high schoolers, where students stay on our historic campus, learn from published and respected Appalachian writers, work on their craft, and build a community of their peers that spans across the region.
This year, students studied poetry writing with Bernard Clay, nonfiction writing with Shawna Kay Rodenberg, playwriting with Loren Crawford, and fiction writing with Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle. Karen Sayler McElmurry and Caroline Cooper were on-site counselor mentors. Non-writing sessions included meditation and mindfulness with Kelli Hansel Haywood, kintsugi with Tiffany Thompson, and a publishing panel. Students also participated in a Narrative 4 story exchange, team trivia, and a cosplay supper.
There is a lot of big picture magic to Ironwood. Young writers get to explore different genres and see what they connect to and enjoy. They get an enthusiastic welcome into the Appalachian and Kentucky writing families, seeing that we’re all excited for what they will add to our literature and cultural ecosystem. They step into community that accepts and validates them across identity factors.
all photos supplied by Melissa Helton