By Mitchell Garrett


Writing students gathered in Bill Sheldon’s classroom April 9 to hear Amy Sage Webb, director of the writing program at Emporia State University, talk about her craft.

The students were quiet at first, but Webb immediately started giving them writing prompts and got them thinking.

The exercise started with imagining a scene where a character is serving or being served by someone else. Everyone started writing small paragraphs, and she started asking them to add to story, with different writing techniques.

The students had to think of what the other characters reminded them, how they would imagine those other characters in different settings, and what judgments and prejudices they would have towards that character.

Webb watched them.

“I know when everyone will be done writing when I get the universal sign of student completion: a pitiful sigh and throwing of papers down on the table.”

As more was added to the stories, she made sure that everyone has on the same page. They understood and kept writing, spurred by stories within their own lives.

Then it was time. “When you’re done, just fling your writing implements down,” she said.

Everyone had pages of writing, and when the students were asked to read their stories at the end of the period, they all sounded completely different from each other, and all were well-constructed.

Webb was confident that everyone had learned something useful.

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