Lauren Foss Goodman led my workshop with a fierce desire to cultivate every seed of our imaginations, while examining different techniques through the generation of new stories. I learned greatly from her ideas regarding the accumulated meaning of objects. I was also in the “What Even is A Simile” craft session, which was fantastic in that I was able to take away concrete details and examples in creating (usually intangible) phrases. My other craft session, “Can I Get a Story Out of That?” provided us with further options to successfully spark story ideas and it was very effective. For me, craft sessions were significant in grasping concepts of small parts of our writing, while workshops contributed to the whole.
Outside of workshop, I was a participant in the “Performance Matters!” studio course and was very pleased with its effectiveness. It truly inspired me to think more about language and performance. The evening readings were one of my favorite parts of Juniper, too. James Tate’s style of poetry opened up a door that allowed me to think of structure freely. The Q&As were both inspirational and down-to-earth, giving all of us a perspective on authors we had not realized before, like Joy Williams admitting that she sometimes lacks confidence in language.
All in all, daily life was great! The food and dorms were fantastic. My Program Assistant, Katrina, was exceptional in her ability and willingness to answer questions and talk about work. Always interested and friendly, Katrina continued to help our pod form a community of writers for after Juniper. My fellow writers made me feel both motivated and intimidated by their dedication. The diverse backgrounds of the students created an interesting community for me, both as a writer and a teenager.
At Juniper this summer, I created the first few pages of a possible novel, which I will continue. Juniper was truly an incredible experience, both about writing and making new friends.
—Isabelle Ingato, ‘11 particpant