special issue featuring young authors of Mighty Writers of Philadelphia
A PUBLICATION OF ROWAN UNIVERSITY’S MASTER OF ARTS IN WRITING GRADUATE PROGRAM
The staff of Glassworks magazine would like to thank:
Rowan University’s Master of Arts in Writing Graduate Program
Mighty Writers of Philadelphia
The Glassworks advisory board: Jeffrey Maxson, Jennifer Courtney,
Drew Kopp, Martin Itzkowitz, Lisa Jaun-Clough, Ron Block Cover art: “Evening Skyline” by Karen McFadden To see more of this artist, vistit: http://www.artbykar.com/ Cover Design: Manda Frederick __________________________________________________________ Glassworks is available both digitally and in print. See our website for details: www.RowanGlassworks.org _________________________________________________________
Glassworks accepts poetry, fiction, nonfiction, art, photography, short video/film & audio relevant to literature. See submission guidelines for more information: www.RowanGlassworks.org ________________________________________________________ Glassworks is a publication of Rowan University’s Master of Arts in Writing Graduate Program. Correspondences can be sent to: Glassworks c/o Manda Frederick 205 Hawthorn Hall Rowan University Glassboro, NJ 08028 E-mail: GlassworksMagazine@gmail.com Copyright © 2013 Glassworks
Glassworks maintains First Serial Rights for publication in our journal and Electronic Rights for reproduction of works in Glassworks and/or Glassworks-affiliated materials. All other rights remain with the artist.
Winter 2013 issue five
Master of Arts in Writing Graduate Program Rowan University
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Manda Frederick SENIOR EDITOR Lindsay A. Chudzik CONTENT EDITORS Cherita Harrell Myra Schiffmann Jane Blaus ISSUE DESIGN Manda Frederick Karen Holloway
TABLE OF CONTENTS Rymaz Ahmed “Lindsey’s Concert,” Novel Excerpt | 1 “Holiday,” Free-Write | 2 “New Girl,” Novel Excerpt | 3 Hibah Ali “I Decided to Quit,” Novel Excerpt | 4 “Maybe He’s the One,” Novel Excerpt | 5 Naadiyah Allen-Vereen “The Prom Queen,” Novel Excerpt | 6 Isaac Cho “Vengeance,” Novel Excerpt | 8 Israh Mohammed “The Art of Competition,” Novel Excerpt | 9 “Sad Story,” Novel Excerpt | 10 Maaz Mohammed “Mike Ross: The Agent,” Novel Excerpt | 11 Shimah Mohammed “I Need Answers!” Novel Excerpt | 12 “Sisters Before Misters,” Novel Excerpt | 13 Aubre Tyler “Deadly Flowers,” Novel Excerpt | 14 The Looking Glass | 15 About | 17
Lindsey’s Concert It was a hot Saturday morning in June and Lindsey was texting her best friend Allison, “Lindsey, do you remember that new band everyone’s talking about?” asked Allison. “Of course I do.” “They’re playing tonight at The Madison Center!” Lindsey was hypnotized. She had been waiting all year for that concert but she knew her mom would automatically freak. But that surely didn’t stop her, she had a master plan. She paid her younger brother, Max, $5 to cover for her if her parents asked about her. “Lindsey can you babysit tonight?” asked her constantly working mother. There was no answer. She ran upstairs and saw Max playing on his Gameboy standing by Lindsey’s room. “Where’s your sister?” “She’s …um…uh in the bathroom.” Then Lindsey’s mom remembered that she had overheard Lindsey talking about a concert and she ran to the car and drove to the first place that came up in her mind: The Madison Center. She found Lindsey getting out of her boyfriend’s car and grabbed her by her shirt. “Young lady you are coming home with me right now!” said her mother furiously. “Fine, but I’m going to this concert some day.” “Sure.” She was grounded for the rest of the summer and had to babysit Max every weekend for the whole year.
Holiday Allie and Rebecca were filled with Christmas cheer, but before they could do anything for Christmas, they had to decorate the house. “Christmas is my favorite holiday,” Allie said while hanging the ornaments on the tree. “Darn, these stupid lights keep poking me; man, I HATE Christmas because all my family ever does is fight all day long!” complained Rebecca. Every year Rebecca’s family would have their own plans for Christmas. “Friends must help friends, right, so this year you must spend Christmas with my family,” explained Allie. “Great, and thanks Allie—you’re my bestie!” cried Rebecca. “Here. Help me hang up the lights and maybe that’ll cheer you up!” “I doubt it, but I’ll do it anyway.” Just as the girls were finishing up with the lights, Rebecca’s mom walked in. Kicking the decorations out of her way, Rebecca’s mom pulled Rebecca by her pigtail and dragged her out of the house. “Let me go! Are you trying to kill me?!” Rebecca asked while trying to escape. “Many people are waiting for us so let’s go!” exclaimed Rebecca’s mom. “No, Allie invited me to Christmas dinner at her house and I HAVE to go!” yelled Rebecca. “Oh, please get up now!” “Please, just this one time, Mom!” “Quit it and—,” her mother said, trailing off as her phone rang and Rebecca slipped away. Right then she heard bells ringing and stopped to listen. She had never heard such a beautiful sound. “Totally awesome,” she screamed. Unfortunately, her mom had caught up to her and she wasn’t happy. Various carolers walked by so her mom couldn’t hurt her. “Well, now let’s go!” her mother shouted. X marks the spot where she was going to finally show her mom how she felt. “You ruined my life and I’m leaving!” Zazzy lights twinkled as she walked away forever.
New Girl Mara, the new girl, was standing in the hallway when Lindsey happened to walk by. “Hey, Mara. Where’d you get your outfit ? Huh?” teased Lindsey. “Um...uh...my mo— ,” Mara said, stuttering. She couldn’t find the right words to say. “Let me guess...the trashcan!” Lindsey’s group gave out an evil laugh. “Stop it! Please?” Mara was scared; she wasn’t used to standing up to her. Lindsey was giggling. “Why should I? Are you gonna tell your guards? Are you gonna cry!” Mara ran to the bathroom tearing up, and when she reached the bathroom she locked the door behind her. “Kill me! Kill me! Kill me!” cried Mara. She was shouting at the top of her lungs. “Mara, are you done in there, you’re going to be late for your next class!” exclaimed her guard. “It won’t matter anyway because I’ll be dead!” Mara explained to the guard. Now, her guard was getting impatient. “Don’t say that. Do I have to call the counselor, Ms. McDowell, again?” said the guard. “No, that lady freaks me out!” Mara said. Now, he was finally mad and didn’t have any patience. “Well then get out of there NOW!” He was furious and banging on the door hard. She ignored him. “Now, what can a girl like me use to kill myself and get over with my horrible life?” whispered Mara softly, when then she remembered something her father had given her before he died. The guard had gone to get the guidance counselor. “Hon, get out so we can have a chat, or do you want me to come in there?” said Ms. McDowell in a sweet but firm voice. “Ahhhh!” screamed Mara panting. “Hon, are you okay!?” Ms. McDowell said as she busted the door open. She couldn’t believe her eyes. Mara was... DEAD! They found her body on the floor with blood dripping everywhere out of her neck. There was a silver pocket knife in her hand with the initials M.A..
I Decided to Quit So, this week is the talent show. I’m trying to face my fears by singing. The thing is, Jessica’s singing too, and there can only be one winner. After Jessica found out that I was in it, everything got serious. “You already know I’m going to win,” said Jessica. “Sure you are,” I said to myself. She ruins everything for me. This time I really don’t want her in my way. Just when I thought I wouldn’t let her get in my way, it was the total opposite. Everyday after school, I would go to practice in the music room. She would follow, close all the lights and unplug all the electronics. She even spilled water all over the speakers and microphone I just got last week. She’s trying so hard that she even tried to bribe the teacher into making sure I wouldn’t win. After that, I didn’t know what to do. If she did all this, what would she do on the actual day? What will she do when I’m actually performing? I didn’t want this to happen but…I decided to quit the talent show.
Maybe He’s the One It was love at first sight. I never had a real boyfriend. I can’t believe this is happening. I don’t want this to happen. He’s just a friend. After I went to the dance with Kenny, I fell in love. I fell into his words. His big, light brown eyes were stuck on mine. He’s an amazing slow dancer. OMG. Ew. I’m, like, drooling. Ugh, but that’s not me. He’s just a friend. Oh god, he’s coming over here. Be cool, be cool. “Hey, Dina,” he said. “He-e-e-y,” I said. Stop stuttering, I thought to myself. “Are you okay?” he asked. “Ye-a-a-a.” “Uh, okay. I’ll talk to you later,” he said as he walked away. Oh god, why am I so stupid! I don’t want to say this, but maybe he’s the one.
The Prom Queen “OMG! Would you please put your phone down and stop texting!” said Summer, putting on her super sweet strawberry lip gloss. “Fine!” said Skii, putting down her phone. “Now guys, we have to find a way to stop Brittanii from becoming prom queen,” said Summer. “Guys, I overheard Brittani talking in the bathroom, saying how she is going to crush us! I wanted to tell her that that was wrong and mean but I didn’t,” said Destinie. BEEP-BEEP. Matt pulled his car up on the drive to get Skii. “Sorry guys, gotta go. That’s Matt,” said Skii as she rushed to put her jacket and scarf on. “What, right now?” asked Diamond, shoving a sugar free cupcake in her mouth. “Yea, we already made plans.” “Whatever,” said Diamond, rolling her eyes while she watches Skii leave. “So back to what we were saying. That’s your problem, you’re too kind!” said Autumm. “Point!” said Diamond raising one finger in the air. “If I am so sweet, then why am I here?” said Destinie, getting up as she slammed the door behind her. Later that day, Autumm texted Destinie and apologized for being a selfish friend and taking her for granted. So that night Destinie spent the night at Autumm’s house. They ate pizza, went to the movies to see Twilight, had popcorn, went on the computer, had a pillow fight, shopped at the mall, then went to bed. That morning Autumm’s brother Timothy came in her warm messy room and threw pillows on their heads. “What are you doing twerb!!!” said Autumm as her voice screeched from sleeping all night. “You look like an old granny with those bags under your eyes,” said Timmy throwing another pillow on her head. Autumm got up and punched her brother in the back. He screamed and ran to his mother. “Ugh, brothers. They always have to be the little demons!” said Autumm confessing to Destinie. “I always wished I had one, that was fun, silly, cool, and friendly!” dreamed Destinie “Well, that will eventually be the opposite!” said Autumm. At noon they both got dressed, ate breakfast, and washed up. Autumm told her mom that they were going to Skii’s house. Her mom gave her forty dollars for gas. “Thanks!” said Autumm smiling bright as the glare from the window poked her in the eye. “You’re welcome sweetie,” said her mom smiling back. Destinie slammed the door shut, following behind Autumm. “Sike!” said Autumm. “You could just tell her the truth and really tell her where we are going!” said Destinie eating a bag of Herr’s barbecue chips. “All we are going to is a party,” said Autumm getting into the car. So the two girls drove to the gas station. Autumm got fifteen gallons for thirty dollars. She then got back into the car. “We have ten dollars left over. What about some fruity bubble gum and cherry lip gloss?!” said Autumm smiling super sweet. “Uuuggghhh, totally!” said Destine with a super smiling grin on her face. The two girls ran out the car and picked up two packs of Juicy Fruit bubble gum and some super shiny lip gloss. They ran back into the car and headed for the party! As Autumm and Destine drove onto the highway, there were loud sirens that sounded like there were coming
Naadiyah Allen-Vereen from a mile away. Then, it started getting closer, closer, and closer. “OMG! The police are right behind us! said Destinie with her mouth opened wide. Autumm pulled over and waited for the policemen to come talk to her. The police officer had on black pants, with a hat, badge and a gun. “What seems to be the problem officer?” said Autumm trying to sound kindly and sweet. “Ma’am you haven’t had your turn signal on since the last time you made that turn on Route 101. May I see some license and registration?” asked the police officer. “Sure thing!” said Autumm with a nasty attitude. The police officer then got back into his car. “We’re totally in trouble!” said Destinie sounding very nervous and scared. “No we’re not. All I have to do is sound sweet, guilty, and put my little puppy face back into action and we’ll be at that party in no time!” said Autumm sounding convincing. “I hope so,” said Destinie, wishing that he would let them go. The officer then got out of his car and walked to Autumms parked vehicle. “OK, now since it is the holidays I’m going to let you off with a warning. But remember to turn back on your turn signal when you turn! Take care and happy holiday!” said the officer sounding like Santa Claus. “Thank you so much, Officer. Merry Christmas to you, too!” said Autumm smiling back. The officer then got back into the car and drove away. Autumm put her license and registration back into the glove compartment. “OMG Autumm! It totally worked!” said Destinie giving Autumm a big, huge hug. “Hey! I’m Autum. I can do anything!”
Vengeance Erik’s heart pounded as he made his way down the dusty path through the forest. Narrowly avoiding a stream of bullets, he ducked behind a rusted tank and frantically searched his ripped bag for any signs of ammunition. The sound of footsteps drew near as he loaded six bullets into his rusted revolver with a mere sigh of relief. He held the revolver with a surprisingly steady hand as he waited for the armed men to pass. Using the shattered glass of his mirror, he held it out to count his pursuers. Seven men in ripped and tattered uniforms were approaching along with a rusted pick up truck that seemed to date back over fifty years ago, possibly from as far back as 2012. Erik remembered when he was part of the militia. The militia at first seemed like the saviors that would help the people of the city of Palmont find refuge from the quickly approaching World War V. The Ridgwell Militia division originally banded together with the people to take down their attackers, but now they requested payment and retribution for their deeds. Erik was unable to give money and paid the ultimate price. He felt the rage building inside of him before snapping out of his daydream. He heard the deafening noise of a gunshot, and quickly jumped to his feet, pulled the trigger of his Colt revolver, and grabbed a dying soldier’s weapon in a single swift motion. Unable to react in time, the other militiamen stared in shock as Erik slid behind them and under the car. He could hear the shouts of pain and confusion as he slipped a grenade under the truck and stood up behind it, covering his ears. With a hot and devastatingly loud blast, the truck flipped over and burst into flames. The completely dazed soldiers were flung to the ground from the force of the blast. The men frantically scattered as Erik emerged from the fire and smoke. He wanted vengeance for everything they had taken from him and he wasn’t going to stop until they paid the same price. Erik grabbed a man by the collar and lifted him off the ground. “We trusted you with our lives. Why did you turn on us f-for this?” Erik held up blood-stained gold coins. The man seemed to be in such a state of shock that he couldn’t speak. “Where is your boss?” Erik barked. “Police station…” The man managed to spit out. “Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t end this here!” Erik commanded. “I—I have children without a mother. What would they do on their own?” The man pleaded. Erik’s look softened and his anger turned into compassion and empathy. “Get out of here before I change my mind.” Erik mumbled before tossing the shocked man aside and onto the ground. Without hesitation, Erik stood and walked by the flaming wreckage.
The Art of Competition All I want is to win the art competition. Not to toot my own horn, but I do have some mad drawing skills. Then again, Georgiana is a decent painter. Plus, she sort of scares me. Fine, she really scares me. I think it’s because of her size and how she is capable of doing anything. Just like how she told the whole school that I used to have a crush on Mr. Darrell, the Physical Education teacher, which was a lie. When I run into her at the cafeteria, she gives an evil glare and walks toward me. “Hey twerp! Oreo!” Georgiana demands. I quickly hand it to her, not trying to make direct eye contact. “I see you still didn’t forfeit. It’s like you’re asking to get slapped,” Georgiana says. I start to get a little light headed and my palms start sweating. “You better drop out by Monday or somebody will spill out your secret!” Georgiana screams. “Which secret? You know so many,” I say, sounding careless “Your crush on Jack.” I’m pale!
Sad Story This is the saddest story I have ever heard. Sarah told me everything on our first date. She said her mom died in a car accident. And when her mom died, she was driving and her brother was there and he was paralyzed. She began to cry. Good thing I was there to comfort her. She couldn’t even finish her appetizer. I guess that ruined my chances of ever being her boyfriend. That was a waste. But I wouldn’t blame her. On top of that, she is being bullied by Georgiana who humiliated her in front of the whole school. Plus, her dad’s out of his mind. I guess he can’t take the fact that his wife died. I drove her home, the least I could do. Now, I can’t tell her how I really feel, though. Maybe next time.
Mike Ross: The Agent I just wanted to be the best. I just wanted to be famous and to be known for something...anything. But I’m not quite there yet. I don’t have many weaknesses, but if I had to choose one that really gets in my head, it would have to be the fact that I am not that resilient. I don’t earn enough respect. When I was hired to be an FBI Agent, I was very excited; I couldn’t wait to start working. It was my dream job. But along the road, I have made some enemies. As I got into my squad car, very disappointed, I happened to glance out the window. I noticed a man wearing all black running down the street with jewelry in hand. I quickly ran after him. When I finally caught him, I removed his mask and he was revealed as my Uncle Steve. I couldn’t believe it. It was as if the world stood still for an hour. I put him in the squad car and drove him to the station. We talked and then came to an agreement. I let him off on one condition: That he never speaks of this again. But right before he left, he told me something that caught me off guard. He said that he did it for me. He said he saw how I was handling the situation with respect and fame. He just wanted to help. Steve wanted to see how I apprehended criminals. He wanted me to be the best. I yelled at him. He embarrassed me in front of the city. He got angry and left. I knew there was something wrong with him; he is just like everyone else. A hater. But I thought about what he said and took it into consideration; he was right. But, then again, he does have a reputation of being crazy. So you can say that he got in the way of me earning respect, but, in reality, I got in the way of myself from being the best and earning fame.
I Need Answers!
Setting: In Emily’s bedroom at around 7:30 PM on a Friday night.
“Oh my god, this doesn’t make sense,” exclaimed Emily, rushing back and forth in her bedroom. “Come on, Emily,” Lola said with an annoyed voice. “You’re still worrying about that stupid killing case? I mean, you’ve been worrying about this all week. We haven’t had time to at least talk, and plus that’s the cops’ job.” “Maybe if I just go back to Ms. Hatfield’s house, I’ll find something, anything,” explained Emily. “Emily, are you even listening to me?” yelled Lola. “You’re taking this case way over your head.” “I just have to get to the bottom of this,” explained Emily. “You know what? I’m done with this sleepover. I’m calling my mom to pick me up,” yelled Lola. “Lola, don’t—.” Lola quickly slams the door and leaves.
Sisters Before Misters Emily storms in the room thinking to herself: Should I tell her? Will she still be my best friend? She couldn’t help to think what would happen if Emily told her best friend that Don, her boyfriend, had kissed her. Emily picks up the phone, dials Lily’s number and says, “Lily, Don is a…a…” Emily quickly hangs up the phone. The next day at school, Lily marches up to Emily and says, “Emily, you were saying something about Don, but then you hung up the phone. What were you going to say?” “Um…Don is not…the um...” “Why do you keep stuttering, Emily?” “Well, after school on Tuesday, Don…um...he um….” “Just come on and say it,” says Lily fiercely. “Don is a cheater, he kissed me after school.” “What!” says Lily, “Why didn’t you tell me, I thought I was your best friend!” “I didn’t want to tell you because…because….” “Because what!” says Lily. “Because I knew this would hurt you, and I didn’t want to loose you as a best friend. I’m sorry,” says Emily. “Emily,” says Lily, “Thank you for caring about my feelings. I really appreciate it!” “No problem bestie,” said Emily. “From now on it’s sisters before misters.” “I agree,” said Lily.
Deadly Flowers “Where did the flowers come from?” William asked Ms. Mel. “I don’t know. Give them to me,” she said to William. “Yes, Miss,” William said, giving Ms. Mel the flowers. Ms. Mel looked for a flora card in the flowers. “William, I don’t see any flora card in these,” she said. She stared at the flowers, but she wasn’t sure if they were roses or tulips. “Do you know what type of flower this is, William?” “I don’t know, but I will try to find out, Miss,” William replied. The next day, Ms. Mel noticed a petal on the table beneath the vase of flowers. “William, a petal fell off of these flowers, and I just got these yesterday,” said Ms. Mel. After a couple days, Ms. Mel noticed that a petal would fall off every day. As the petals continued to fall, Ms. Mel seemed to get more and more sick. Finally, she had to lie in bed so she could recover. “Ms. Mel, I found out what type they were,” William said. But before William could explain to her what they were, she had died in her sleep.
The Looking Glass: Contributors’ Insights into Their Craft Hibah Ali: My story is about people in middle school. I chose this because I’ve experienced it. The main character is a regular middle-schooler who is average and loves music, just like me. She has her own sense of style and likes to be herself. When my main character is confronted by mean people, she doesn’t let them get in her way. This is a message I want readers to take away from my writing. My family told me about Mighty Writers and my aunt signed me up. After a few classes, I decided I really liked writing. After the program, I feel like my writing has improved. I was also inspired more to read and learned that being a writer has no boundaries. I’m also trying to read longer books now. The one thing I’d want my readers to know is that, when you write, your ideas can keep growing. Rymaz Ahmed: A theme in all my work is friendship. In my novel, there is a character who has a lot of frends and one who doesn’t have any friends. I wanted to show both points of view—one character is lonely. I want my readers to know that they shouldn’t leave people lonely. Another theme is suicide. One of my characters wants to kill herself. She has a bad life. Her father killed himself. Her mom has no job. She does end up killing herself in the bathroom at school. I wanted a twist and something unexpected in my sotry. I decided to kill the main character because I wanted the story to be interesting and to tell a message. There is a note beside the girl after she kills herself about another girl who is mean to her. The story is a message against bullying. Bullying is present in my writing. If I could be any character, I would be the best friend to a girl who gets bullied. A lot of people get bullied and they write about it. Naadiyah Allen-Vereen: I enjoy writing a lot. I have been with the program called Mighty Writers for four years. They’ve helped me improve my writing skills and to do better in school. I enjoy a variety of writing. When I write, I enjoy doing so in a peaceful environment. When I have nothing to write about, I give myself a certain amount of time to write, which pushes me to write a lot. I actually see myself as a writer when I am an adult, publishing many stories.
Isaac Cho: I’m really interested in post-apocalyptic worlds—this was the motivation for my story “Vengeance.” I enjoy reading books and playing video games that contain a lot of action, and most of the stories I write have a lot of action in them. The books I read tend to be more mature. I enjoy books like To Kill a Mockingbird, or books that incorporate a lot of action. I enjoy writing because it gives me the freedom to tell my story, and helps me to vocalize my feelings and express my emotions. I mainly write fiction and some poetry. With my poetry, I usually write about anything that comes to mind—anything I may experience day-to-day. Although I like to write, I consider writing to be more of a hobby, and I don’t plan on pursuing it professionally. When I graduate, I want to be an engineer or an architect.
Looking Glass Israh Mohammed: The inspiration for my novel is middle school life. I hope my writing relates to others and I want my readers to learn to keep trying even though people can put them down. I have seen friends have problems with other friends, like the characters in my stories, but they have worked it out and dealt with it. I hope my readers will learn that. In the future, I would like to be an author writing fiction—novels, short stories, a little of both. I picked this Novel workshop because you get to spend more time with characters and get more into the story. I enjoy writing dialogue and description. When I have writer’s block, I do what Ms. Lindsay told us to: re-write lines from our favorite books until we get somewhere. One of my favorite lines is from The Hunger Games: “May the odds be ever in your favor.”
Maaz Mohammed: I am an avid basketball player and I believe that the art of playing basketball and the art of writing have a connection. Both activities require practice and patience. If you want to be great at something, you have to practice and work hard and never give up to excel. The current novel I’m working on is called Mike Ross: The Agent. I am looking to be an author when I’m older so I hope Mighty Writers can assist me in pursuing that goal. Some influences of mine are Gary Soto, Walter Dean Meyers, and Maya Angelou.
Shimah Mohammed: The topic for my novel, I Need Answers!, comes from my own interests. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve been interested in mysteries, murder stories, and detective stories. Emily is the main character in my story and she is a lot like me. My friends say I worry too much about the little things, much like she does. I joined Mighty Writers because I wanted to get help improving my writing skills. I found Mighty Writers online and I saw “A Novel Idea.” I signed up because I like to read fiction and mysteries the most. I really like reading the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, as well as books by Lisa Jahn-Clough. After someone reads my work, I want them to keep wondering what might happen, inspiring them to think more. I want people to also be entertained by my writing. Aubre Tyler: The story “Deadly Flowers” comes from my love for flowers. I was thinking about flowers and decided to write a story about an anonymous person who sends flowers to a rich woman who he dislikes. I usually write horror stories, but I don’t like to read them because they can be too scary to read. I also like fairytales, and other mystical stories. I love to write because when you write, you don’t have to write about yourself—you can write about different people and become a different person. If you don’t like something you write, you can change it. I like that because that doesn’t happen in real life—you can’t always change things. I also like the freedom writing creates. Sometimes when I write, what I’ve written doesn’t make sense and I get frustrated. When I get frustrated, I sometimes draw. I draw anything that comes to mind—different things I see, or whatever I’m thinking about—and that helps me get back on track with my writing.
About Mighty Writers Workshop and Glassworks Apprentice Mighty Writers is a nonprofit whose goal is to teach Philadelphia students to think critically and write with clarity, thus fostering their self-esteem. A Novel Idea was one of many workshops the center offered this fall and, over the course of ten weeks, I taught the participants many of the elements of craft that must be considered when writing a novel. We completed several writing activities that revolved around creating backstory and tension, writing believable dialogue, identifying what their characters wanted and what obstacles stood in their way, and describing settings using fresh and memorable sensory details. The students took these mini-lessons and applied them to the novels they were working on during the duration of the class. In addition to writing a lot, they also did a great deal of reading. We discussed works by Sherman Alexie, Lauren Oliver, and Lisa Jahn-Clough, the latter being the students’ favorite by far as she made a special appearance during one of our workshops to talk to describe her experiences writing novels. Each Sunday we met for two hours and each Sunday the students worked hard, asked a lot of questions, and expanded their stories. The Glassworks Apprentice Workshop was slated for our final meeting, a way to guide students in terms of what to do next, showing them publishing opportunities that exist for their age group and pointing them to resources they can use beyond my class. I honestly don’t know who got more out of A Novel Idea, the students or I. While I hope they will walk away with polished drafts and a better understanding of craft, their enthusiasm for writing and boundless creativity reminded me of the joy that comes with writing, as well as the importance of taking chances. Lindsay A. Chudzik Mighty Writers Instructor The tradition of glassworking and the history of Rowan University are deeply intertwined. South Jersey was a natural location for glass production—the sandy soil provided the perfect medium, while plentiful oak trees fueled the fires. Glassboro, home of Rowan University, was founded as “Glass Works in the Woods” in 1779. Thus, Glassworks magazine is founded on the aesthetic narrative and metaphor of this fascinating industry—the primacy of artistry, a deep pride in individual craftsmanship, and the willingness to explore and test conventional boundaries. So when we decided to create this special community-outreach issue, we extended the metaphor once again and decided to take on “apprentices” for our magazine. Young authors were coupled with our editors and introduced to the workmanship of editing and publishing. Apprentices approached the magazine from both an author’s and editor’s perspective. Authors were guided through cover letters, bios, author contracts, manuscript revision, and submissions. The work they submitted is the work you see in this issue. It is our hope that these young authors will go on to continue publishing their work, as well as consider the editing and publishing industry as they go on to choose their own craft. Glassworks Edtiors
contributors Rymaz Ahmed Hibah Ali Naadiyah Allen-Vereen Isaac Cho Israh Mohammed Maaz Mohammed Shimah Mohammed Aubre Tyler
About This Issue This issue is a collaboration between the editors of Glassworks magazine and the Mighty Writers organization of Philadelphia.
â&#x20AC;&#x153;Evening Skylineâ&#x20AC;? - Karen McFadden http://www.artbykar.com/
For more information on Mighty Writers visit www.mightywriters.org.