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Laurie Edwards and Kat Gonso Partner with 826 Boston for “Writing the Tough Stuff During COVID-19”

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From late May to June, Laurie Edwards, Associate Teaching Professor in English, and Kat Gonso, Teaching Professor in English, helped to facilitate a pilot program for teen writers at the John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science in Roxbury. This program was put on in collaboration with 826 Boston, a nonprofit youth writing and publishing organization.

From Laurie and Kat:

“We wanted to find a way to help students stuck at home meaningfully process the pandemic while currently living through it, and we thought expressive writing could be a beneficial tool for them. We pitched a three-part writing workshop called “Writing the Tough Stuff During COVID-19,” where writers could develop their personal stories through prompts and feedback, and see how elements of expressive writing like detail, scene, and emotion can strengthen their writing. Each live virtual workshop included time to respond to a writing prompt, concrete material on expressive writing and narrative techniques, and discussion of published essays and sharing of the students’ writing. We are grateful for the enthusiasm 826 Boston had for the idea, and the collaboration they offered throughout.”

Laurie and Kat hope to run this program again with 826 Boston and to expand to other high schools in the city. Read their full interview in the latest English Department Newsletter.

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