Annual Writers Week Seeks to Inspire Students With Speakers

The school’s 23rd annual Writers Week will take place this year February 11-15. Writers Week is a memorial established by the parents of Tracey Cullinan, a student who passed away as a senior. Since then, writers have come to visit the school each year as a way to inspire students to write.

English teacher Galen Rosenberg is organizing the event this year, along with parent volunteers Bella Shapero and Arabella Napier. The PTSA funds the event and gives a small amount of money as an honorarium to all the writers.

Thirty-three different writers, ranging from journalists to novelists, will come to the school this year to talk about their experience as writers to all English classes. Students will have the opportunity to read various works of certain writers and then meet them to ask questions.

“I really like how the writers come into the classroom,” junior Jackie Radford said. “[Last year] I thought it was really fun to get advice from the writers, and they even had a few of us do certain writing exercises.”

This year’s Writers Week features Ann Packer, the author who wrote the novel “The Dive from Clausen’s Pier” and, more recently, “Songs Without Words.” Packer will give a presentation in the Eagle Theatre in Wednesday, February 13 at 7 p.m. to discuss her work. Students are encouraged to read “Songs Without Words” beforehand and attend Packer’s speech that week.

“I really want to try and read that book before the week comes,” Jackie said. “I really like the big presentation in the theater … that’s what I’m looking forward to.”

The World Literature Honors course gave students the option of reading Packer’s new book for its Book Circles Unit.

According to Rosenberg, Writers Week’s overall purpose it to inspire students and show them how writing can be used outside of English class.

“Hopefully over the course of the four years [students] hear people talk … and it really encourages them that they can do that too, either by inspiring them or just making them see how real it is to be a writer,” Rosenberg said.

English teacher Susana Herrera agrees that Writers Week is a good opportunity for students to realize how important writing is outside of school.

“It’s a way to make what we do in the classroom relevant to real life,” Herrera said.

Writers Week intends to reach out to students to make them aware of all the different options writing has to offer.

“I just want to hear a variety of writers,” sophomore Amanda Nesmith said. “I’m hoping that the writers have different stories to tell and different messages.”