Youth Flock to Free GPC Creative Writing Camp

Contact: Beverly James
Phone: 678-891-2686
Fax: 678-891-2966
Author: Beverly James

For Immediate Release

Dennis Moody loves reading science fiction and fantasy novels, but never thought he could write his own book. Now Moody, 16 and of Stone Mountain, is sure he can.

Moody was one of more than 100 youngsters ages 12 to 17 who participated in the two-day Atlanta Writers Club Youth Creative Writing Camp. The camp was co-sponsored by the Writers Institute at Georgia Perimeter College, and held at GPC Clarkston Campus.

Like other teenagers in attendance, Moody said he came to the camp to improve his writing. He left with a renewed sense of purpose.

“I’ve always loved reading Sci-Fi, and I thought maybe one day I could write my own,” he said. “But after everything I’ve learned at this camp, I figure why wait? I can start working on my novel now.”

This is the third year that the camp has been held at GPC. New this year are mini-workshops that allow participants to focus on a specialty in creative writing such as songwriting, poetry and playwriting.

“We want the kids to get more in-depth writing experience in a specific genre, technique or character development,” said Lisa Heidle, AWC Youth Camp Coordinator.

Organizers invited previous presenters and added new authors and educators. Author Fiona Hobbs, who has been blind for 23 years, showed students the technology she uses to write and explained how her disability helps her tap into other areas of creativity.

For Akeisha Gregory, the camp was an opportunity to explore the world of poetry. “I learned about different poems that I’d never heard of and how to write them,” the Jonesboro 15-year-old said. “It’s amazing what I’ve learned in this camp. It’s opened my eyes to a whole new world of writing.”

A favorite of participants was Emily Lupita Plum, a writer, artist and world traveler. She presented to the attendees the importance of observing sounds and colors, then communicating them through expressive language in their writing.

Other workshops were led by Clay Ramsey, president of the AWC, who spoke about the classics, and Writers Institute Director Rob Jenkins, who discussed “10 Things All Writers Should Know.”

Organizers plan to have more youth participate in the camp in future years, Heidle said. “Our vision is for the camp to become as prominent as the Decatur Book Festival, with vendors, speakers and sponsors. We want to expand it so many more young people are exposed to creative writing,” she said.

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Georgia Perimeter College, the third largest institution of the University System of Georgia, serves more than 25,000 students through four campuses and several sites in metro Atlanta. For additional information, visit