Twelve Literary and Performative Arts Incubator

Where tradition meets innovation

Workshops and Residencies

Room 201 teaching artists nurture and develop young creative writers, but we also strive to develop critically-conscious youth leaders. Our short-term workshops provide innovative and culturally-responsive approaches to language, writing, society and culture. Our long-term residencies have the potential to change student lives, improve school climates, and create tangible application between information on tests with experiences in the real world. Below, you will find several creative writing workshops and long-term residencies taught by our skilled team of professional teaching artists who have more than 85 combined years of teaching and experience in the literary arts. 


Click here for our roster of teaching artists and student teaching interns.


Our short-term workshops tend to be about two hours in length, but can be modified to best suit the needs of schedule and educational needs. Our long-term residencies typically last between two and three months, but can also be modified. The two-day-per-week residencies are comprised of one weekly large group instructional/workshopping session and one day of individualized student writing conferences. 


Our home, Twelve Literary and Performative Arts Incubator, is uniquely designed for writers. If you are interested in inviting our teaching artists to work with your students, it's best to bring them to Twelve, located at 325 E. 156th in the Waterloo Arts District. However, if you prefer for our teaching artists to visit your school, no problem! Our teaching artists are available to visit schools across Northeast Ohio and beyond. If there is a workshop that doesn't quite fit what you're looking for, that's also no problem. Our team is ready to design a package and a curriculum that works best


Feel free to also contact us about our individualized instruction for home schooled youth. To co-design a tailored workshop or residency or for any questions about our curriculum, contact us by calling 216-350-6333. You can also email Twelve Executive Artistic Director, Daniel Gray-Kontar at [email protected]

INTRODUCTION TO POETRY

The short-term "Introduction to Poetry" workshop introduces students to various aspects of poetic craft, including imagery, metaphor, line, stanza, music, rhythm, diction, and tone. The long-term residency introduces students to contemporary poets not traditionally taught in most public high school literature courses. Students in the long-term residency will write and read widely, exploring a number of poetic traditions, including the sonnet, and the villanelle. Through peer critique, students respond closely to the work of fellow writers in a supportive workshop.

Student Writing Level: BEGINNER - INTERMEDIATE

Minimum Workshop Length: TWO HOURS 

Length of Long-term Residency : TWO MONTHS 

Workshop Size: 5 – 12 STUDENTS


POETRY FOR PERFORMANCE

This workshop is designed to help youth write and perform poems for a live audience. Students are provided unique, existential writing prompts to inspire their process. Students are also introduced to literary techniques and literary heroes/heroines that may influence the development of their individual voices. Strong writing forms the backbone of this course, but youth are also introduced to performance techniques and exercises and that will take their literary expression to another level.


Student Writing Level: BEGINNER – ADVANCED

Minimum Workshop Length: TWO HOURS 

Long-term Residency: THREE MONTHS

Workshop Size: 5 – 20 STUDENTS


POETRY FOR PUBLICATION

This workshop is designed to help youth submit their writing to professional literary journals, literary anthologies, writing residencies, and publishing houses that are most appropriate for their work. Youth will also develop and trust in their own process of revision, while becoming strong actors in a writing workshop community.


Student Writing Level: ADVANCED

Minimum Workshop Length: TWO HOURS (Introduction to poetry publication)

Length of Long-term Residency : TWO MONTHS

Workshop Size: 5 – 12 STUDENTS


INTRODUCTION TO SHORT FICTION

This workshop explores the basic elements of fiction writing, including narrative, scene, character, and dialogue, as well as the habits necessary to grow as a writer.  Students in shorter-term workshops will bring stories they have already written for workshop. Students in longer-term workshops will read a variety of short stories alongside essays, blogs, and videos on writing craft in order to develop a language for talking about how fiction works. Students will complete a short story developed during the course of the workshops (8-20 pages) and offer it to the class for critique in a workshop setting. 


Student Writing Level: BEGINNER – INTERMEDIATE

Minimum Workshop Length: TWO HOURS (Introduction to Performance Poetry)

Long-term Residency: THREE MONTHS

Workshop Size: 5 – 20 STUDENTS


PLAYWRITING FOR SOCIAL CHANGE

Youtube, Netflix, and other digital media have dominated our entertainment landscape over the course of the past 10 – 15 years. Increasingly, live performances and live theater have seemingly become less important than in years’ past. So why a course that focuses on live theater? This course is designed to help us answer this larger question. This three-month long residency is designed to help the emerging playwright discover the importance of writing plays with the goal of bringing communities together to better understand the world in which they live – and to give audiences the inspiration to think about social change and community transformation. Students will learn to develop well-rounded characters for the bulk of this course. The guiding philosophy behind this strategy is that strong, believable characters are the basis of a play’s action, plot, mood, and tone. Throughout the course of this three-month residency, student playwrights undergo a rigorous series of peer-to-peer writing workshops, monthly writing retreats, and individualized discussions with the resident teaching artist.


Student Writing Level: BEGINNER – ADVANCED

Short-term Workshops: NOT AVAILABLE FOR THIS COURSE

Long-term Residency: THREE MONTHS 

Workshop Size: 5 – 12 STUDENTS


LITERARY THEORY

This college-readiness Socratic seminar challenges students to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the theoretical functions of creative language in society. The course prepares students to analyze creative writing after exposure to Feminist theory, Gender Studies, Critical Race Theory, Post-Colonialist Theory, and Post-Structuralist theory. Students are also introduced to the basic elements of semiotics and etymology. The class provides students with the tools to analyze narrative storytelling through the lens of these theoretical frameworks, and to apply these frameworks to their own writing.



Student Writing Level:
INTERMEDIATE - ADVANCED

Short-term Workshops: NOT AVAILABLE FOR THIS COURSE

Long-term Residency: THREE MONTHS

Workshop Size: 5 – 12 STUDENTS


HIP HOP CULTURE AND THE CRAFT OF MCING

This workshop introduces students to the historical, sociological, and scientific elements of hip hop culture, and it's relationship and application to the craft of MCing or rapping. Students learn the foundational elements of hip hop culture, while learning the fundamental elements of strong writing, performance, recording techniques, and analysis. Shorter term workshops introduce students to the history and sociology of hip-hop. Longer term residencies end with the creation of a sound recording and music video. 


Student Writing Level: BEGINNER – ADVANCED

Minimum Workshop Length: TWO HOURS (Introduction to Hip Hop Culture) 

Long-term Residency: THREE MONTHS 

Workshop Size: 5 – 25 STUDENTS