Writer’s Week 2021

Writers Week 2021

Writer’s Week is coming back to Neuqua Valley on Mar. 22-26 this week. Students have the opportunity to submit their writing to be featured in a panel. This writing can be fiction, nonfiction, poetry and any other genre of writing.


English teacher Michael Rossi, director of Writer’s Week, shares updates on how Writer’s week is going to pan out. He plans on doing live sessions after school between 1:15 and 2:25 pm on Zoom. Some performances will be live, while others will be recorded virtually. 


He expresses why it is important for people to see Writer’s Week especially during this time in quarantine due to the pandemic. 



“I think students have a voice. In high school, we have all these wonderful writers who are stuck in their chambers and have these stories inside them. This is an opportunity for them because they have something important to say,” Rossi responds. He wants to engage his students as much as possible.


A few weeks ago, author and Professor Thomas C. Foster visited an Honors English II class at Neuqua to talk about his experiences with writing. One of his books, “How to Read Literature Like a Professor,” is read by the English III curriculum. He offered some advice to writers during his visit.


When asked if he had any advice for writing college applications, Foster advised that when you are writing about yourself, you should “think of your reader as a real person and think about yourself as a real person and make sure your communication is making contact between you, the writer, and the reader” and to ask yourself “What can I write that will convey who I am?” You should also “be genuine and interested in your reader” and “make them entertained.” 

As for advice for writer’s block, he quotes writer Anne Lamontt and her book “Bird by Bird,” saying that you should “turn off all of your critical faculties, write fast, and clean it up just slightly. Don’t worry about it and just blast it onto paper. Stop that voice.” He then references writer Gayle Godwin and her term, “the watcher at the gate.” He describes the watcher as this sensor that keeps telling you, “that’s not good enough and you need to stop, work on this, and find this thing out.” He disapproves of this sensor saying, “get it on paper and do all that other stuff later” since “you can’t edit, you can’t revise, you can’t rewrite until you’ve written” and that “it doesn’t matter if it’s really lousy, it needs to get on paper.” 


Foster described one of his own experiences with writer’s block as “an idea that was never going to work out for me.” He says that “everything is fixable as long as it exists, including throwing everything away and starting all over again. That’s always one of your options. But if you don’t write it, you don’t have any one of those options.” When taking chances, especially with writing, “you can go out on a limb and there’s a chance the limb breaks, but sometimes there’s a chance that it succeeds as well.”