Agate Writer’s Workshop to be held July 17-19, 2017

This year’s Agate Writer’s Workshop will be July 17-19th at Agate Fossil Beds National Monument.  We will explore the Women of the West with focus on the women scientists, paleontologists and homesteaders that built the communities and resources in Western Nebraska.  Please join this unique event by registering online and extend the invitation to interested educators from other disciplines.

Exploring the Bones of Place: 50 Years in the Nebraska Panhandle

Spend two days at Agate Fossil Beds National Monument discovering the bones of place. Staff from the National Park Service and Nebraska Writing Project will lead teachers through a variety of activities designed to make science exciting, inviting and accessible through writing. This workshop is open to teachers of all grade levels and content areas. Participants can expect to:

  • generate their own creative writing
  • explore the women of Agate and their unique roles in paleontology, geology, and place
  • leave with classroom activities for integrating science and writing

Registration fee for the program is $75. The workshop is limited to fifteen participants. It begins at 8:00a.m. on July 17th and concludes at 2:00p.m. on July 19th. Food and lodging are not available at the park. Registration ends June 30, 2017.

Participants will need to arrange for lodging in nearby communities. Local hotel or camping accommodations can be found at:

  • Harrison House Hotel in Harrison, NE (
  • Hotels in Scottsbluff/Gering, such as Comfort Inn, Days Inn, Hampton Inn and Suites, Holiday Inn Express
  • Fort Robinson State Park (Nebraska Games and Parks Commission)

A limited number of tent camping sites are available within Agate. Sites have access to an indoor bathroom and kitchen facilities. Reservations for tenting sites is available on the Agate Fossil Beds website or by emailing Alvis Mar at

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Youth Writing Festivals 2016

newp kinseyOn Saturday, March 19th, NeWP hosted the Youth Writing Festivals. For our Eastern Festival, we moved locations to Gretna High School and we had a fantastic turnout. There were over 50 students there from eight different schools/districts. The Eastern Festival is for middle school students and they ranged from 6th to 9th grade. Each student received a notebook and t-shirt for their participation in the festival.

The day was broken up into four sessions, with two groups of students traveling between the sessions. Sessions were led by area middle school teachers Elizabeth Lambert, Heather Kinsey, Shelley Sheets, and Amy Tasich. Sessions focused on character development, character interactions, topic and story creation, ignoring the editor, and there was a writing marathon for each student as well. The final session of the day was for publishing student work. Student pieces can be found on our blog
newp publishing 2

This is the fifth year the Nebraska Writing Project has hosted a Youth Writing Festival, and the third year it has been geared towards middle school students. If you have any questions or would like to participate in the 2017 YWF, contact Amy Tasich at




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2015 Young Writers Camp: Epilogue

The Young Writers Camp was a great success this year, registering a final count of 40 students, and involving ten undergraduate interns, two NeIMG_0727braska Writing Project teacher consults, Derek Funk and Jennifer Long, and two University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate students studying writing in our Ph.D. program. The YWC also sent two of its campers and three interns to “I Love to Write” on East Campus where the older kids and interns mentored the younger students in a slam poetry workshop.

At camp this past summer, we offered over 20 workshops, including titles suchs as “They Lived Half My Life: Odes to Common Things,” “Karate Chop Your Writer’s Block: Using Deep Memories and Anaphora to Create Poetry,” “Poetry and Science: Perennial Frenemies,” “Dear “Scientists”, Where’s my jetpack? Sincerely, Everyone,” and “From Script to Screen: A Crash Course in Screenwriting.” The writers at YWC had the wonderful opportunity to attend large workshop sessions with visiting writers this year: Kwame Dawes, Jennine Capo Crucet, Jennifer Perrine, and Matt Mason. We also included some guest writers: Bernice Olivas, Marcus Meade, Maureen Sinclair, and Ian Rogers. It has been such an amazing gift to have so many wonderful writers in our community who have contributed to the camp!

IMG_0731You can find the work of our Young Writers in the process of publication here. One of the amazing things about our anthology this year is that all the images of the kids that appear before their work were actually DRAWN by one of our interns, Lincoln North Star graduate of 2013, Individual High School Poetry Slam Champion, artist, and UNL student, Katharen Hedges!

Our program has been growing by 5-10 students each summer since our first summer, which is promising for the future! Thanks to all the NeWP teachers I know who make sure their students know about our summer writing programs!

Watch the 2016 Video here!

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