teachers workshop in garden

The Vada B. Dow Writer's Workshop for Teachers

The Vada B. Dow Workshop for Area Teachers offers K-12 teachers in the Great Lakes Bay Region the gift of time and creative space to rediscover the power of writing: not simply through discussion of best practices, but by crafting, sharing, and discussing their own writing. Through this workshop, we hope that teachers would rediscover the joy of writing and be able to return to their classrooms as advocates for writing with their students. This event, sponsored by the Alden and Vada Dow Creativity Foundation, is offered annually, with the next workshop scheduled for summer 2020.

Workshop Overview:

The second Vada B. Dow Workshop for Area Teachers took place July 23-27, 2018.  Taught by John Mauk and Anne-Marie Oomen, this workshop featured guest speaker Colleen Cruz, author of The Unstoppable Writing Teacher.

Applications were accepted from teachers in all disciplines who wished to integrate best writing practices into their classroom. Thirty teachers were accepted to participate in this workshop. The total cost for participation was $150.00, due to the generous support of the Alden and Vada Dow Creativity Foundation. This workshop took place in the mornings at the Alden B. Dow Home and Studio; afternoon sessions were held at Central Park Elementary School in Midland, Michigan. Each workshop participant was given:

  • a keynote address by Colleen Cruz, author of The Unstoppable Writing Teacher
  • daily personal writing workshops (fiction and memoir), lead by writers Anne-Marie Oomen and John Mauk
  • evening readings from 7-8:30 pm by various Michigan authors
  • complimentary lunch each day of the workshop
  • complimentary lodging at the Holiday Inn in Midland (if requested—double occupancy)      
  • the ability to obtain 25 SCECHs (at no cost) or 2 credits from SVSU (estimated cost $1,050, to be paid by participant)

Some of the other free events that week that were open to the public were:

  • A free lecture by Colleen Cruz, author of The Ustoppable Writing Teacher, on July 23rd 
  • The Michigan Authors' Series, featuring  readings by Michigan poets Zilka Joseph, Linda Neemec Foster, Anne-Marie Oomen, and John Mauk on July 24 and 25
  • A "Fiction Writing Workshop" for middle school students on July 23