Teen Creative Writing Workshops

"The Creative Writing course I took with Ms. Shaffner at Northwestern University was one of my most rewarding experiences. She was an inspiration to me and my classmates because of her unwavering efforts to make us excel in our writing. She let me explore the creative and technical aspects of writing, and instilled in me a new appreciation for literature. She was always accepting of my ideas as a foreign student from Honduras and encouraged me to delve into my cultural background and political views in my writing. The skills I learned in her workshop have not only helped me in my high school classes, they have motivated me to continue developing my writing in college."

- Michelle Lezama ,
Creative Writing Honors at Northwestern University's Center for Talent Development, Summer 2010


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“Brooke's writing course was the single most educational and helpful three weeks of my life. Because of her I am a much stronger, and more confident writer and student. The skills and techniques I learned in her workshops have continued to be useful in not only writing, but in many other parts of my life. I am more organized, articulate and careful in nearly everything. She doesn't have to push her students to work hard, because she has this quality that makes you want to write your best for everything you show her. Some of the pieces that I produced in those three weeks remain among the best I've written. Brooke Shaffner is both a brilliant teacher and a wonderful person.”

- Noah Mintz, Summer 2010,
Creative Writing Honors at Northwestern University's Center for Talent Development


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"After 8 years of grade school and two years of Honors English classes along with countless Creative Writing, Literature Analysis, and other English courses, I felt it was nearly impossible for me to be introduced to anything new in regards to writing. But Brooke didn't have any trouble finding plenty more to teach us (me and my classmates) about writing creatively. During group discussions, she listened to our pieces and praised us before offering constructive criticism that resembled a friend offering advice as opposed to a teacher editing your paper and handing it back covered in red ink. She treated us like adults which made us grow and develop our writing in ways we'd never thought of before. Brooke chose inspiring pieces for us to read and then gave us the challenge of recreating them with our own experiences and ideas. We had a very diverse class that summer- and she appreciated everything we described in our writing, whether it was the struggles of a teenage girl lost in Shanghai or the seemingly bland life of a girl in a small cornfield town in Illinois. She helped each of us put together a portfolio displaying our best work. Brooke was without a doubt the best instructor there that summer- and I'm not just saying that because she's such a likable person! Her suggestions are extremely valuable and I think her gift for dissecting others' writing is truly rare."

- Genevieve Toussaint,
Creative Writing Honors at Northwestern University's Center for Talent Development, Summer 2010


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"Ms. Shaffner has been one of the most influential people in my life -- not only did she teach me things that I could not have learned elsewhere, but she did so in an engaging manner and with more kindness and patience than I would have thought was possible in any person. I do not hesitate to recommend her to you with the utmost conviction that far from regretting it, you will realize that it is the smartest thing you can do for yourself. To make a long story short: Ms. Shaffner is brilliant."

- Kharmen Bharucha ,
Creative Writing Honors at Northwestern University's Center for Talent Development, Summer 2010


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