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Aspiring Teen Authors Get A Master Class In Writing At BOCES

Rippowam Sisqua student Olivia Grubb works on a short story about the rise of the Third Reich with mystery writer Alan Beechey at the Young Authors Master Class at Putnam Northern Westchester BOCES on Dec. 6.
Rippowam Sisqua student Olivia Grubb works on a short story about the rise of the Third Reich with mystery writer Alan Beechey at the Young Authors Master Class at Putnam Northern Westchester BOCES on Dec. 6. Photo Credit: Contributed

YORKTOWN, N.Y. -- It isn't often an aspiring young writer gets to collaborate with a professional author.

Students from high school across Westchester had the rare chance to work alongside published authors in a master class offered recently at Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES.

Olivia Grubb, a student at Rippowam Cisqua,  was working on one of her short stories and got a chance to work with an author. Her story is about an ordinary German citizen during the rise of the Third Reich.

In the class, Grubb worked with her editor, Alan Beechey, who has written three mysteries and a non-fiction book. He read the prose and pointed out some of the writer's poetic devices, asking Grubb questions of her intention.

In addition, the students got to consult one another on each other's writing. Writing expert Cathy Greenwood led the class.

In one of the sessions, the students were given masks of animals, Vikings, and Renaissance figures about which they had to write a narrative from the "mask's" perspective.

They also got to work on their own writing exercise with a professional writer or editor.

“I’ve been overwhelmed by the quality of writing I have seen in the four editing sessions I did,” said Beechey, a Rye resident.

Kylie Gottlieb, a student at Westlake, said it had been an eye-opening experience to see how brilliant and capable his classmates were with their writing.

Participants were asked to submit their writing for consideration for a Young Authors Digital Anthology, which will be made available later through the BOCES website.

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