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Wyoming Girls' School Outreach

Creative Writing Program

Wyoming Girls' School

Work Sample 6The Wyoming Girls’ School is a therapeutic and educational facility for the treatment of court-ordered delinquent girls ages 12-21 years.Work Sample 3

Staff members provide gender-specific support services focusing on mental health and substance abuse treatment, educational and life skills development.

The program teaches youth to take personal accountability for their actions and develop socially responsible values in preparation for a successful transition back to their family and community.

Community Outreach Project - MFA students teach at the Wyoming Girls' School

Work Sample 1Three MFA students, Maria Anderson (fiction), Randall Tyrone (poetry), and Carly Fraysier (nonfiction) continued and expanded a long-standing collaborative project between the Creative Writing Program and the Wyoming Girls’ School (a therapeutic and educational facility for the treatment of court-ordered delinquent girls, ages 12-21 years) outside of Sheridan Wyoming.  With generous in-kind support from the the Ucross Foundation and the Department of Family Services, the students taught two writing workshops (January/February and May of 2015). 

In the spring workshop, they expanded on the genre lessons and engaged eighteen students in two different class periods, some they’d had before and some who were new.  During three days of working with the girls, they practiced generating ideas, free-writing, revision, and honing a rough draft into a more finished product.

 In one activity they composed Blind Sensory Poems, trying to describe things like a memorable vacation or a family member’s birthday party using every sense but sight. They also composed Braided Essays, wrote Work Sample 2image-based collaborative stories, and talked about “showing” versus “telling” by revising a sentence on the board. With guidance from the MFA students, the girls changed, “The old farmer” to “The wrinkled, crusty, tired farmer.” The students had no trouble thinking of words that could show rather than tell “old.” The girls were not shy about sharing what they wrote. They were enthusiastic, kind, and fun.

On the last day, they continued to revise their writing. Students were surprised to hear the MFA students sometimes wrote ten or fifteen or even twenty drafts of the same poem, essay, or story. Then each student created a broadside, or a poster with images and text, from the writing she’d done so far. The creative writing students returned to Laramie feeling grateful to have worked with these girls and to have been up at Ucross which they described as an, “immensely relaxing, refreshing, and beautiful place.”

Work Sample 4Maria Anderson (fiction)

Randall Tyrone (poetry)

Carly Fraysier (nonfiction)

Work Sample 5

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Creative Writing Program

1000 E. University Ave.

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: 307-766-6453

Fax: 307-766-3189

Email: cw@uwyo.edu

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