Whipple Writing Fellows present final projects from summer program

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CALEB WELDON/SAGAMORE STAFF

The Whipple Writing Fellowship honored its fellows’ work on Oct. 4.

To honor members of the program and their work, the 2021 Whipple Writing Fellowship presentation took place Monday, Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. via Zoom. The fellowship, funded by the Whipple-Gladstone family, chooses 12 students and helps them research and write a creative writing piece, this year with a focus on non-fiction.

The program offers students the opportunity to explore writing more deeply than they could normally in an English class, as they spend the whole summer crafting a piece that interests them. Senior Rowan Roudebush said he enjoyed the unique opportunity the fellowship gave him.

“ Whipple gave me a great opportunity to pursue my interest in writing and to collaborate with a great group of people around me,” Roudebush said.

According to Roudebush, the fellows met twice a week for an hour and a half each to edit each other’s work and offer feedback. At these meetings, Fellows learned new skills and used techniques of editing that they had never used before. Junior Jaedan Roberts said one that she came to enjoy was discussing a piece of work amongst fellows while the author had their camera off and couldn’t talk.

“That was my favorite part of the process,” Roberts said. “Everybody thinks so differently, so being able to remove yourself and just hear what everybody thinks is so fascinating.”

To help the Fellows hone their skills, English teacher Ben Berman worked with the students to edit their papers. The program also brought in authors to speak to the fellows, including Joon Lee, Class of ‘13 and current ESPN reporter.

With the 2021 summer program over, senior Charlotte Dresser said that she still carries skills that she learned with her and produced one of her favorite pieces of writing.

A common theme that many fellows talked about was the sense of collaboration and community they had built together. Senior Keya Waikar said this environment taught her valuable lessons.

“One thing I learned was how to take and apply constructive criticism,” Waikar said. “Sharing your writing is like giving a part of yourself up, but this great team around me allowed me to put together a piece I’m proud of.”