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Writers' Camp @ ZSR: Encouraging the Entrepreneurial Spirit in Young Writers


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Programming for librarians who want to reach out to the creative writers while partnering with their Career Center, Writing Center and more!

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Writers' Camp @ ZSR: Encouraging the Entrepreneurial Spirit in Young Writers

  1. 1. Writers’ Camp @ ZSR: Encouraging the Entrepreneurial Spirit in Young Writers Hu Womack-Instruction and Outreach Librarian The 2018 Entrepreneurial Librarian Conference: Grow, Lead, Evolve
  2. 2. Writers’ Camp @ ZSR-What is it? The inspiration for Writers Camp @ ZSR came after a group of ZSR librarians heard Jane McGonigal present “Find the Future: The Game” during the American Library Association’s 2014 Annual Conference. The ZSR Library wanted to provide an opportunity to engage students interested in writing outside of the classroom and to offer these students the opportunity to become published authors.
  3. 3. Writers’ Camp @ ZSR-What is it? Student authors come to the ZSR Library on a Friday evening early Spring Semester and have 12 hours to write their piece for the books. Both prose and poetry are accepted. Some student choose to spend the night in the ZSR Library and some leave when they finish. ZSR Librarians and staff spend the night as well.
  4. 4. How is it Entrepreneurial? We took a risk that students wanted to publish and that the quality of their work would warrant publishing. Our students took a risk that we could edit and publish their work. We reduced the financial risk with grant funding. Our “profits” came in the form of two published anthologies, and the goodwill and publicity they generated. We also cultivated an entrepreneurial spirit in our authors!
  5. 5. But really, how is it Entrepreneurial? Students take a risk that they can deliver content for publication in twelve hours. Students take a risk and become a published author. Students build confidence in their ability to control their own work. Students learn about the self-publishing process. Students (with our help) create a book.
  6. 6. It is also Collaborative ● Z. Smith Reynolds Library ○ Manages the program ○ Catalogs the book ● WFU Office of the Provost ○ Provided startup funds in 2015 ● WFU Writing Center ○ Partners to provide writing tutors, and keynote speaker ● WFU Office of Personal and Career Development ○ Provides funds for food overnight ● Library Partners Press ○ Publishes print and ebook
  7. 7. It’s Both Expensive and Cheap ● 2016 Budget $4500 ○ spent $3500 ● 2018 Budget $1000 ○ Spent $600 ● We learned how to deliver the same quality for less money. ● We learned where we needed to spend the money. ● We learned what services we could get donated. ● Don’t waste a good crisis!
  8. 8. Event Timeline ● Summer 2017 ○ Committee Meets ● Fall 2017 ○ Application Process ● Spring 2018 ○ Volunteers ● Week of the Event ○ Schedule and Food ● Day of the Event ○ Staffing ● After the Event ○ Surveys ○ Editing and Publishing
  9. 9. Student Feedback 2016 Writers Camp ● Enjoyed the experience! One critique would be that writers had very little (virtually no) input during the editing/formatting of their work for the book. Consequently, certain intentional formatting, semantic, etc. choices were altered. Not the end of the world, but something to consider! ● It was my favorite thing I've done at Wake this year. So much fun! The mugs were a nice touch. ● The writers camp was very successful in terms of the timeline and the actual event-- accommodations, organization, and the actual event were all good. However, the prompts (the "rah rah Wake Forest objects") were not really artifacts, and most everybody was disappointed... ● Was pretty good! Looking forward to getting a hard copy of the night's work. ● The experience was very enjoyable, writing in the library after hours and having all the resources were very helpful.
  10. 10. Student Feedback 2018 Writers’ Camp ● I had such a good time! The only suggestion I would give is to have better coffee! Thank y'all so much for this event. ● I loved everything about this experience and would definitely participate again as well as recommend to others. ● Each year just gets better and better! I think Writing Center resources are SO nice to work with!! ● Though I wasn't able to physically be at Writers' Camp, everyone was so accommodating and I am very grateful that I was given the opportunity to participate!
  11. 11. Lesson Learned What we didn’t need: ● After the first event, we learned we did not need a professional editor for the book. ● We didn’t need games, videos, or any other distractions for the participants. They were there to write. ● We didn’t need gift bags or “schwag” for participating. ● Artifacts to serve as writing prompts. What we did need: ● Graduate students from the Writing Center to serve as a “guide by the side”. ● Branded coffee mugs customized for the event were mentioned by many participants as something they loved and appreciated! ● Graduate students to edit the book
  12. 12. Encouraging the Entrepreneurial Spirit at Your Library Think, Pair, Share Take a few minutes and think about an outreach program you want to implement at your library, and both the benefits and challenges of such a program. Pair up with the person beside you and talk through each of your program ideas. Give each other feedback on your ideas. Share your ideas with the room.
  13. 13. Thank You! Questions? Contact Information: Hubert David Womack Associate Librarian, Instruction and Outreach Z. Smith Reynolds Library Wake Forest University My preferred pronouns are he/him/his Writers’ Camp Website: