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Queer Voices: Open Genre Writing Workshop

Queer Voices: Open Genre Writing Workshop

Instructor: Melissa Onstad

Middle School, Grades 6-8

July 13 – July 17

Are you a young person who identifies as LGBTQ+? The world needs to hear from you! Come write your life in the way that makes the most sense to you. This one-week camp is for writers interested in engaging directly with their LBTQ+ identity. We will use poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction to explore the following questions: What part of my story feels important to tell right now? What do I wish people understood about me and my life? What genres feel best suited to writing about my experience as a queer young person? Each session will include writing prompts, writing time, and opportunities for peer feedback. We will examine how writing craft can make our message more powerful. On the last day of class, campers have the option to sign up for a one-on-one video conference with the instructor to discuss the writer’s strengths and next steps.

Classes will take place on Zoom. Each student will need an email account the instructor can use to share materials and give feedback.

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Check out what time it will be in various parts of the world when this camp meets.

Here are the specifics for this camp:

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  • 7 AM – 8 AM Honolulu
  • 9 AM – 10 AM Anchorage
  • 10 AM – 11 AM Los Angeles, Seattle, Phoenix, Vancouver
  • 11 AM – 12 PM Denver, Salt Lake City, Albuquerque, Edmonton
  • 12 PM – 1 PM Chicago, Houston, Mexico City, Bogota, Quito, Lima, Winnipeg
  • 1 PM – 2 PM New York, Detroit, Atlanta, Caracas, La Paz, Toronto, Montreal
  • 2 PM – 3 PM Buenos Aires, Sao Paolo
  • 5 PM – 6 PM Accra, Reykjavik
  • 6 PM – 7 PM London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Tunis
  • 7 PM – 8 PM Paris, Stockholm, Berlin, Warsaw, Cairo, Lagos, Johannesburg
  • 8 PM – 9 PM Moscow, Nairobi, Istanbul, Doha
  • 9 PM – 10 PM Dubai
  • 10:30 PM – 11:30 PM Delhi

Instructor Bio: Melissa Onstad

Melissa Onstad is a queer parent, reader, writer and longtime middle school teacher. In her role as a Gender and Sexuality Alliance advisor, she has supported adolescents and teens in transforming their school communities into more LGBTQ+ affirming spaces. Helping young people define and pursue their own goals is central to her teaching. Melissa recently left the classroom to write YA and middle grade fiction featuring queer characters. This year, her work was awarded first prize in fiction from Martha’s Vineyard Institute for Creative Writing. Originally from small-town California, she now lives in Brooklyn with her wife, whom she has married three times (it’s a long story). They have two children, ages 10 and 7. Melissa gets a thrill out of matching readers with books, so you can find her middle grade and YA book recommendations on Instagram @heymsonstad.