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JHS Seniors Reflect on Young Writers Institute at Chautauqua Institution

Jamestown High School seniors, Sophie Schweiger, Allyson Buck, Veronica Hansen and Chloe Short had an opportunity that every budding writer would love to have – an all-expense paid Chautauqua experience during one of the first three weeks of the season at the Young Writers Institute as recipients of the 2019 Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle Alumni Association Scholarship.

At the Young Writers Institute, Sophie, Allyson, Veronica, and Chloe were mentored by a faculty of nationally-recognized, published teaching-artists who, over the course of the week, helped the students hone their writing through short exercises, close study of work by contemporary writers and workshops.

“In the workshop, we studied different types of prose and then wrote our own versions in the same format we studied,” remarked Sophie Schweiger. “By studying and then practicing what we learned, my classmates and I formed an in-depth understanding of multiple styles. We were also fortunate to be taught by Kenyatta Rodgers, an amazing, highly skilled instructor from Chi Arts. We were exposed to interesting ideas in a comfortable, casual class setting.”

“I am grateful to be included in this program,” remarked Allyson Buck. “I learned about writing forms and ways to develop a piece of work.”

Thanks to the generosity of the Chautauqua’s CLSC Alumni Association, the JHS students lived on the grounds of the Chautauqua Institution with host families and attended daily lectures, nightly concerts, and live theatrical performances.

Chloe Short remembered, “Chautauqua Institution is such a beautiful and historic place. The other girls and I would sometimes joke about how it felt as though we were living in another world. Our class was almost like a family. We ate together, saw the ballet and biked around the grounds. We stayed up late talking and texted each other.” Allyson Buck added, “For most of us, it was our first ballet.”

“From its carefully tended gardens, to its esteemed concerts and unique art galleries, to its influential lectures, Chautauqua offers its visitors an unforgettable experience,” stated Veronica Hansen.

“I met the girls for ice cream on Bestor Plaza and was overwhelmed by their enthusiasm,” remembered their teacher, Barbi Price. “They raved about every aspect of their Chautauqua experience!”