Welcome to the virtual home of Storytellers’ Writing Club, sister club of Storytellers’ Theater Club!

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Who: For middle school grades 6th-8th, as well as gifted 5th.

What: Have fun and make friends while writing about what interests you, in any genre! Your guides Nan Marie Swapp and Mindi Leatham will help you find the story only you can tell, manage your writing time and understand the elements of a good story so that you’ll have your own completed manuscript at the end of 10 weeks. No homework required; you’ll have time to write your story and do illustrations, if desired, in club. In lieu of our regular meeting on the 10th week we’ll have a parent night so that stories can be shared. Join us and unleash the creative genius inside you! Find us in the school club catalog on January 13, 1014.

When: Tuesdays from 3:50-4:50 for 10 weeks beginning January 28th and ending April 22nd. No clubs will be held the following days March:  3rd-18th.

Where: Our school (you’ll know if it’s yours), room tba

How to Register: Our school Club Fair will be held in the gym one day only on Monday January 21st starting at 8 am. Spots are limited so we recommend arriving early. Price is $100; cash, checks and credit cards accepted.

Supplies Needed: Please bring a pen or pencil and a new notebook or composition book. If you have a laptop or other device that you like to type on you are welcome to bring that instead.


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About Mindi Leatham: Mindi Leatham has a BA in English Literature and has been writing professionally for over 10 years. Her articles have been featured in many magazines including Arizona Bride, Garden Compass and Decor & Style. She has written marketing material for 76 Lubricants and D*Lush Beverage Joint among other companies. Mindi’s life long love of all things fairytale, mythology and fantasy have inspired her to take several writing courses in recent years including workshops with author/editor Gini Koch. She is a compulsive reader, enjoying a broad range of genres, and is eager to share the wealth of knowledge she has accumulated from both practicing and appreciating the art of writing and from reading so many “how to” books over the years.

Click here to friend Mindi on Facebook!


About Nan Marie Swapp: Nan Marie Swapp’s third-grade teacher said she should write books when she grew up. And although she doesn’t yet feel like a grown-up, Nan Marie studied creative writing at Brigham Young University and Arizona State University, as well as at multiple writing conferences and workshops. She writes everything from plays to poetry, but her absolute love is children’s fiction. She is currently working on multiple novels with hopes of publication very soon.


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Recommended (but not required!) reading (all available from our local public library):

Writing Magic by Gail Carson Levine

Kids Write! Fantasy & Sci Fi, Mystery, Autobiography, Adventure & More by Rebecca Olien

Kids Write Right: What You Need to be a Writing Powerhouse by Jan Venolia


Recommended (but not required!) online personality test to get you thinking about who you are and what you’d like to write: 


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Q: Will there be homework?

A: No! This club is for fun and you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. If you do want to work on your story at home, though, go right ahead.


Q: Do I have to consider myself good at language arts for this club? Or have written a manuscript before?

A: Nope. We’re all coming together to have fun. Learning and improving will happen naturally.


Q: Do I have to like language arts?

A: We’ll spend some time discussing stories you love/what makes them great and a lot of time writing. Our club environment will be like hanging out with friends and not like being in class. Join our club if that sounds fun to you!


Q: I like to have creative freedom and enjoy writing for myself but I do not like to be told what to do/write school assignments. Is this club for me?

A: Absolutely! You get to choose what you write and the benefit of the group is added inspiration, help brainstorming and the satisfaction of sharing your achievements.


Q: Will art be a big part of club?

A: It can be as big or small as you want it to be. We welcome you to flex your artistic skills or focus more on writing if that’s what you desire.


Q: What kind of story will we write?

A: Anything you want! Have ideas for an epic fantasy tale a la Tolkien? Had interesting experiences that would make a good memoir? Want to write/illustrate your own graphic novel? There are no restrictions.


Q: I’ve tried to write stories before but I get stuck and can’t finish. Sometimes I can’t think of a way to get my character out of a predicament or sometimes I just don’t know what should happen next. What if that happens in club?

A: That’s the beauty of being in a club, we will help each other out of our writing ruts!


Q: Sounds fun but what if I don’t know what to write?

A: We have tricks to help you figure it out. If you’d like to start thinking about it now make a Favorites List. List your favorite books and movies along with what makes them so appealing. List your favorite characters and settings, questions you’d like answers to, what the best possible thing that could happen is and the absolute worst. Circle the things that bring on strong emotions. It may also be helpful to take the Myers Briggs personality test at and read the descriptions that go along with your result.


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