Stories People Want to Know: Interviewing Two Middle School Authors

There’s always a lot to be excited about at the CYC. This year, the CYC creative writing students have even more to look forward to: a whole new program structure. Also, there are new snacks. Granola bar crumbs aside though, this year’s program model is a great way for students to share writing and feel connected to peers. Two students in the middle school program, Tayonna and Zoe, shared some thoughts about their time at the CYC. Both girls have been coming for a few years now so they had a lot to say. Amidst the frenzy of splitting new organic pop tarts and deciding if the “cheddar ducks” were as good as “goldfish,” we sat down between some books. I broke into some questions and they broke into their juice boxes.

Annie: So, do you like what we do at the CYC?

Tayonna: Yes. Oh and we’ve been working on our poems at school. But it’s different than the CYC. These ones are more fun and more alive. At school someone wrote a poem about the rain and it was depressing. They just wanted to sit in the window and keep crying and crying and I don’t like that. That’s so depressing.

Do you write stuff like that? What sort of stuff do you want to write?

Tayonna: No, I never write that sort of sad stuff. I want to write about fun stuff. I want to write about the sun, the moon. About happy things, but, like, real happy things.

Zoe: At school we have to write essays but we don’t get to write poems. It’s still fun, but it’s not the same. I like the poems here. At school there are more rules and we have to write these paragraphs. If you mess up a word, like if you spell a random word wrong, then they take off five points and it’s a little harsh. But I want to write about random stuff.

Tayonna: Yeah. Like I have this one story. I can’t remember the title of it, but it’s just about random stuff. I’ll bring it in next week.

Zoe: Sometimes people tell you stories that freak you out. Stuff you don’t need to hear. At the CYC though we tell stories people want to know.

What’s been an exciting thing you’d been able to do at the CYC?

Tayonna: Everything! Okay but there was that one thing, last year. Screen printing! I never knew you could do that, I thought you could only do that on shirts and stuff, not paper. I hadn’t thought about adding the pictures to my writing before either. I’d seen pictures in my mind but I’d never thought about putting them down with the words so that people could see.

What about you Zoe, what’s something exciting you’ve been able to do at the CYC?

Zoe: It’s just been really fun. A lot of it has been really fun. Meeting new people maybe. That’s cool.

Yeah! I think there’s something really cool about meeting new people here. And then, not only do you meet new people, but you have to share your stories with them. It can be cool, but also scary.

(Tayonna shook her head furiously at this suggestion).

Zoe: No. Not here. It’s only scary when you go up.

Tayonna: Yeah! Like last summer, when we went to the Wealthy Theatre for the book release! My stomach was up and down and all over.

Zoe: Yeah, I didn’t think anyone would like my story. I didn’t want to go but my mom made me do it. She said she wanted people to see and she wanted to make a video about it and then she showed it to my family which was cool. They liked it.

Tayonna: My mom had to miss it. So I had to tell her everything that happened. And I was out of breath and I was sleepy and I’d eaten a lot of ice cream so I had a stomach ache.

Zoe: Yeah! I remember getting sick. There was so much ice cream. I put too much chocolate on mine.

Annie: Is there such a thing as too much chocolate?

Perhaps all conversations about writing lead to chocolate. Regardless, these two writers are creating great work every week at the CYC. To see the screen prints Tayonna is so enthusiastic about, head down to Madcap Coffee before November 18th. Stay posted for more cool projects and middle school-sized pieces of wisdom. Oh, and grab a good snack before your next writing project.