2015 — The First Annual All Write
With a $3000 grant from the Webster Groves School District Foundation a bit of fire in the belly, we launched the first All Write in February of 2015. We were inspired by Writers Week 2014 at Hazelwood West, where we spent a day observing professionals talking to auditoriums full of students enthusiastic about writing, students sharing their writing on stage to the applause of their peers, and students asking poets (poets!) for their autographs. We knew this concept was exactly what we needed at Webster Groves High School.
Our plan for three days of back-to-back assemblies quickly expanded to four as the yes responses to our inquiries kept coming in. As Leftridge was finessing his way through putting together a schedule that worked for us and our 20+ guests, Bohlmann and Brewster were busy sorting through the 100+ entries to our first Student Writing Contest. Not only did they have to choose a winner and runners-up, but they had to match the student pieces with writers as the opening acts.
When Monday morning finally hit, we started All Write with something wonderful: Hugo/Nebula/Arthur C. Clark Award-winning author (and former district employee) Ann Leckie reading from her hugely successful novel Ancillary Justice. Her opening act, a novel excerpt written by Ben Killeen, would go on to win our student contest.
The week went on to include poetry about Webster Groves from Eamonn Wall, a sharp and interactive critique of contemporary movie culture by the late film critic Joe Williams, a presentation about how a novel becomes a screenplay by John Dalton, Black History Month and Women's History shows from our drama students, and more. Student buskers performed in jazz trios and string quartets between shows and volunteered behind the scenes to do everything from running the lights and sound, to escorting the authors through the building, to designing our logo and signage.
We kicked off the new school year and Fall Write 2015 with a bang with three events: Write You Are!, a trivia fundraiser, an evening event with the stunning artist and author of Hugo Cabret Brian Selznick, and a private event with WGHS '77 alum and National Book Award winning author Jonathan Franzen.
Who was here: