Write away with me into the sunset: A once-in-a-summer chance to live the aspiring artist’s dream

If you’re the idyllic kind of learner who dreams of sitting at the knee of Socrates for dialog and debate and greater mental illumination … I can’t help you.

But if you’re a dude

in fourth through sixth grade

who likes to write

and you’re anywhere within commuting range of Hinsdale, Ill., this summer


Yeah, that’s right. Socrates has been dismissed, and Professor J. Drew Scott is in session beginning June 21. You can download the 2010 summer class schedule of the Hinsdale Center for the Arts, but for those with merely a casual interest:

Note that the amusing little laundry list in the middle is a coy way to say “Prof. Scott doesn’t know exactly what we’re doing yet, but trust him, it’ll be a hoot.”

One thing is for sure: we’ll talk about revising one’s own work. For example, my original draft paired the words “bad eggs” with “peg legs” because, yo ho ho, who doesn’t like pirates? Especially rhyming ones? But at the last moment, cooler heads down at the HCA realized that encouraging an interest in prosthetics was just kind of creepy and inappropriate for any artists’ summer camp.

Also? If I had it to do over again, I think it’s pretty obvious now that if you propose to show the reader “here’s how to tell if you’re a fit for this class,” you should follow with a couple of declarative sentences, not questions, as in:

“1.) You’re a dude. 2.) You have a serious interest in …”

That would have been much stronger.

Ah, the work of the writer is over in a jiff. The work of the editor can go on for eternity.

(See? That’s the kind of pearl you’ll learn if you join my class. Do it! Do it! Do it!)


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6 responses to “Write away with me into the sunset: A once-in-a-summer chance to live the aspiring artist’s dream

  1. Bezer

    Sign me up! Can the class teach me how to write reports for my Church’s Executive Council? I have to convince them we need champagne when we have a beer budget.

    • jdrewscott

      I think you mean “Manischewitz on a grape juice budget.”

      Perhaps you need my Fall class offering: “The Art of Persuasion for Non-Secular Penny Pinchers, or: Render Unto Caesar What is Caesar’s but Give the Congregation What It Wants.”

  2. Hayes

    I want to be in fourth through sixth grade! Darn, this looks like a lot of fun!

    • jdrewscott

      Believe me, Mr. H, the camp would rock if a.) you were to employ, say, a hot tub time machine to return to your school days, and b.) your mom could totally score you a ride to Oak Brook. You’re welcome to audit my course — or heck, to teach it for that matter!

  3. I seriously wish I was in fourth grade and in Oakbrook right about now. I’d write a story that included everything on your list. Dragon-slaying ninja robots squaring off in Texas Hold’em against zombie comedians…

    • jdrewscott

      Oh, you would, wouldn’t you? But that would be the perfect story, one so ideal that further creation by other authors would be unnecessary. Indeed, it could fundamentally disrupt any creator’s ability to receive inspiration from a Muse, for what purpose would there be to further put pen to paper? No, sir, I beg you: You must never write such a story, for the good of our brotherhood of scribes!

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