Creative Writing Adventures (CWA) is the non-profit arm of karenbenke.com and a program of CalPoets, one of the nation’s largest artist in the schools programs. CalPoets is also a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, so any donation made to CWA is 100 percent tax deductible. If you believe in creative literacy and would like to support a student who loves to write, thank you in advance for making a donation.
Creative Writing Adventures (CWA) began in 2014 as an after-school hub for young writers to slow down and play with words. In this speeded-up world, CWA encourages children to re-connect to themselves and to one another through poem and story-making, minus hand-held devices (aka screens). Since opening its doors at The Writers Nest, CWA has offered partial and full writing scholarships to children ages 8-17 to participate in writing adventures that strengthen creative literacy, empower imaginative thinking, and promote verbal and written confidence. Founded by a poet/writing guide/internationally published author/and 23-year poet-teacher with CalPoets, CWA is housed in a converted Northern California lumber mill, circa 1892.
As of 2019, CWA is fiscally sponsored by CalPoets, a statewide 501(c)3 nonprofit and one of the nation’s largest literary artist-in-the schools programs. Your donations to CWA through CalPoets directly supports partial and full scholarships for children to participate in CWA’s after-school programs.
What children who participate in CWA workshops say:
To offer a child much-needed time away from screens and devices, so they can pay attention to their imaginations; to provide a nurturing, inspiring space for a child to slow down and write a poem, a scene, a story; to offer a different approach to writing that doesn’t involve grades or gold stars.
Your donation to CWA is 100 percent tax deductible and will ensure that a deserving child interested in creative writing be granted a scholarship.
Thank you for understanding the importance of giving children the space and time for reflection in a world that too often beeps, dings, and sabotages attention spans and developing imaginations. Thank you for investing in the patience of paper. Thank you for your generosity, so that a child can learn how to lasso her own images to the page. Thank you for providing the opportunity for children to write in community and in creativity with other children.
It’s like the wild horse of your mind
fusing with the salt scent of the breeze.
It’s like taking off your sandals
and digging your toes into hard, wet sand.
You walk out, step by step, reach the water
that cradles you, pushes you, throws you back.
Far down the beach you see a jar.
The breeze flips and whips your hair.
You run. You reach the jar.
You read the note inside.
You are your own adventure.
—A.M.| CWA student (age 13)
The little world inside me
contains the lyrics of literature,
a silent family of stones,
the beauty of snow—
contains each pulse of the heart,
square by square, a frenzy
of simple connections:
the standing sun, multitudes of joy,
trickles of treasure, the moon’s
shimmering peace, wisdom
from every corner of the world.
M.R. | CWA student (age 11)