MCHS celebrates Writer’s Week

Last week, the Upper Campus celebrated words and literature during the district’s first ever week dedicated to writers

Poetry slam finalists performed a mix of poems, short stories, and creative excerpts at the Celebration of Words on Friday in the Upper Campus auditorium.

Paulina Borowski, Staff Writer

Students, teachers and staff at the Upper Campus celebrated Writer’s Week in the auditorium during AIM for the week of Feb. 7-11. Almost every day held an opportunity to celebrate writing.

Hosted by the English Department, Writer’s Week is dedicated to showcasing students’ talent in writing, gaining insight into writing techniques from skilled writers, and learning more about writing as a whole through poetry, books, and short stories.

On Monday, Feb. 7, students shared their writing during the Celebration of Words in the auditorium. Others went to hear their talented peers courageously take the stage and share their poems or stories.

“Students are so talented, they are so descriptive in their writing and entirely talented,” says Gina Nomikoudis, the organizer of Writer’s Week. “It takes a lot of courage to get up there on that stage and present these inspiring words.”

On Tuesday, Feb. 8, author Courtney Stevens introduced her books and presented other work throughout her tour for her new book “We Were Kings” to both the Upper and Freshman Campuses. 

“I don’t write to make money or to be famous,” says Stevens. “I don’t write because I have to write. I write for a chance to understand heroes and villains, and to realize the importance of courage. I write to level out how destructive our world can be. I write because I want to matter. I use words so I can get eyeball to eyeball with other people and to tell them they matter and they are loved. To tell you, you matter and you’re loved. Because you do matter and you are loved.”

Thursday, Feb. 10, was filled with writing-related events, such as the Sophomore Poetry Slam during the first three periods of the day in the auditorium or main gym. In this event, students who have been chosen by their individual classes, present their poetry individually or in groups to all the other Sophomore English classes. Judges chose the best poem and the overall crowd favorite to win a prize.

Charlotte Alexander and Mollie Hobson’s poem “Compared to Him” won the poetry slam in the auditorium. Alexander states, “When they said we won I thought it was a joke and I was so nervous that when I presented it sounded like I was about to cry.”

There was also the author panel on Thursday during AIM right after the poetry slam. Local authors got to share their writing process for their own books or works in the publishing process. Students got to ask questions to understand the book writing motivation, publishing process, story development and more.

A teacher at the Freshman and Upper Campus, Dane Erbach, has a book in the works and is in the publishing process. He states, “My motivation for writing just comes from the excitement of outputting something and putting ideas on paper. The feeling of putting a piece of writing out there and for someone to resonate with it.”

To conclude Writer’s Week, on Friday, Feb. 11, there was another Celebration of Words in the auditorium where students continued to share their talents in writing. 

“I did better than I thought I would, yet was still nervous,” states AJ Caroscia. “I added more emotion and even personified the character of my poem. I thought it went really well though and I’m happy to share my work!”

Writers Week was a spectacular celebration each day for the second week of February. A lot of amazing work from various MCHS was presented that week and was truly a celebration of literature and talent.

Note: Dane Erbach, featured in this story, advises the McHenry Messenger.