Local High School Students Work on Creative Writing Skills at Mars Hill University

Mars Hill University senior Bakari Harris presents a poem to Madison and Buncombe county high school students who attended a one-day creative writing workshop on March 24 at the university.

Mars Hill University senior Bakari Harris presents a poem to Madison and Buncombe county high school students who attended a one-day creative writing workshop on March 24 at the university.

Mars Hill University welcomed about two dozen high school students and teachers from Madison and Buncombe counties to its inaugural creative writing workshop on Saturday, March 24, 2018. Students from Madison High School, Madison Early College, Buncombe Early College, and Nesbitt Discovery Academy attended the one-day workshop, which focused on writing creative non-fiction, fiction, and poetry.

Three professors in Mars Hill’s English program led the workshop, drawing on their own backgrounds as not only educations, but also published authors. Felice Lopez-Bell, Hal McDonald, and Eric Steineger led sessions held in the university’s Day Hall. Three Mars Hill students–Ryan Davis, Jaime Kelly, and Bakari Harris–used a slam poetry reading to discuss with the workshop attendees their creative process for writing their poems.

Phyllis Smith, dean of the humanities and social sciences division, said the idea for the workshop grew out of a new concentration in creative writing offered through the university’s English program. “We wanted to find a way to reach out to high school students to let them know that this program exists,” she said, “and to give them a workshop to help them improve their own writing.”