This post was originally published on May 21, 2015.

This is a post written by Heather Dickerson, Teen Services Librarian for the Lewis & Clark Library in Helena, Montana. In her series for the LAIP, “Loading the Cannons,” Heather tackles the question “what to do with young adults in a creative writing workshop?” Enjoy! ~ Laura

by Heather Dickerson

“May the Fourth Be With You!”

This was how I greeted my teen writers at our most recent meeting on May 4th. Usually our meetings follow a predictable schedule of writing prompt and then peer critique. I decided that such a special coincidence dictated we celebrate May 4th and Writers Group with the rest of the Star Wars fandom.

starwars

Maybe you’ve seen Ian Doescher’s fabulous William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily a New Hope on a bookshelf near you. This great little volume is a superb mash-up of Star Wars and Shakespeare. It’s hilarious to read and fabulous to hear performed, especially if said performers are into voices and fan experiences!

I found a PDF of a portion of Verily a New Hope online and made copies for my writers. When my writers walked in (several wearing Star Wars t-shirts), I greeted them and we got down to business. We talked a little about fanfiction (which my teens LOVE), we talked a little about Shakespeare, and assigned roles.

I don’t have a video that does this amazing reading experience justice. We had a small group – about six kids – which was the perfect size for everyone to read multiple parts and get their geek on. Even the one teen in the room who was unfamiliar with Star Wars got into the spirit of things, doing a fabulous R2D2.

We wouldn’t have time or interest to do this kind of dramatic reading activity at every Writers Group, but for this special occasion, it was just right!

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