Parents everywhere wonder, "What's going on in my high schooler's head?" Few of them ask and get answers, and fewer still ask the kid to write down their thoughts. The latter seems like an odd parental request, but one's inner monologue is often better expressed through writing than extemporaneous speech. The luxury of control is the gift of writing — after all, none of you know how many times this piece was started and revised before it got this far (six, if you count to the version that was written in Faulknerian man-child speak just for giggles, a-hyuck!). Even if your teen is reluctant to share everything they write, it's not a bad idea to encourage them to write it down for their own sake. Helping young adults unlock and train their brains to think aloud on the page is the mission of StudioSTL. Every year, StudioSTL's mentors help kids set aside awkwardness and uncertainty and achieve the calmness that comes from listening to and recording their inner voice — and then StudioSTL takes it a step further and publishes the writing in an anthology. The Story Lies Behind the Eyes, created by the juniors of the Clyde C. Miller Career Academy, is this year's edition, and it's launched with a free public party from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Centene Center for Arts and Education (3547 Olive Street; 314-289-4080 or www.studiostl.org). Featured authors will read their work, as will musician and good citizen Ernie Isley, who penned the anthology's forward. And even if your kid isn't one of these writers, consider stopping by to pick up a copy. A concrete example of young writers writing, and a little encouragement, might make a world of difference — for your teenager and for you.
Thu., May 28, 2009