Every year, 826LA students gather for an immersive five-day workshop on the possibilities of what it means to be a writer. In our Summer Writers Workshop, students engage in writing activities and workshops led by guest writers, artists, and 826LA staff to experience different forms that writing can take. The goal of the week is to build students' ability to tell their own stories, as well as their confidence to call themselves writers.
This year, our guest teachers Neela Banerjee, Eric Stolze, Destin Cretton, Miranda Tsang, and Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo talked about the importance of harnessing our origin stories, sharing them widely to an audience, and finding an individual voice within a larger shared culture. At the end of the week, photographer Emily Blake took portraits of students to pair with the statements they wrote about themselves or their peers—inspired by a field trip to the Main Museum and Star Montana’s exhibition I Dream of Los Angeles—that convey the essence of who they are and what matters to them.
The Summer Writers Workshop culminated with a reading at iam8bit, showcasing our students’ brave and original voices to their peers, families, and community. As you read the pieces in this book, we invite you to explore how you can tell your own untold stories alongside these young authors.