Day 2 at St. Pete I.C.E. Writers: Maps of Ourselves

Sometimes it’s okay to get too emotional. Today, we explored the truths of who we are, what we enjoy, and what makes each of us unique. That led to some pretty amazing moments.
We began the day decorating “ME” posters with images and words cut out from magazines that represented us and our interests. We expanded our views of each other by examining our friends’ “ME” posters, and then we delved deep, thinking back to five major events of our lives and putting those on a timeline. At first, it was difficult to figure out what those major events were that shaped us into who we are. We forged ahead and heard a very personal and heartfelt memoir piece from Ms. Franki that gave everyone the feels. With this example in mind, we picked one event and developed our own memoir pieces. These funny, cute, lighthearted, and heartbreaking stories brought us together as a writing family.
And then the real work began — writing a six-word memoir that represented these emotional stories. How would be able to cut these masterpieces down to six words!? Well, we paired up with our revision buddies and magic memoir moments began emerging all over the room.
We were introduced to the Ladder of Feedback, and finished the day by writing our six-word memoirs on large strips of paper, which we will display with our “ME” maps around the room.
It was truly an inspiring day for all.
Lesson Learned: Memoirs can bring memories of any emotion, share them!
Quote of the Day: “Everyone is watching me. I feel looked at.”

Day 1 at St. Pete I.C.E. Writers: Raining Words

Campers shook off the rainy Monday blues and burst with creativity today. We explored all the ways in which we know our names, where they come from, and why they matter to us. We were amazed that so many campers already braved the author’s chair today both veteran I.C.E. campers and our new friends. We almost didn’t make it to lunch on time! With the added spice of using a microphone in the new Charger Commons, it was quite an entertaining day. 

We wrapped up the afternoon by creating our group identities — names for our new writing teams: Nine Demons (who created an acronym for their name), Snow-cone Eating Giraffes, Creative Creatures, and The Seventh Grade Scoops (who all decorated their own scoops of ice cream). 

Lesson Learned: Names don’t define us, but they have history behind them. 

Quote of the Day: “We’re going off the books today.” 

Day 9 at North Tampa I.C.E. Writers: You Are Accepted

Today Youth Programs Director Mr. Eric returned to talk to us about what to do with “finished” writing. We’d spent the last two weeks inspired to make new writing, sharing with our peers, getting and giving feedback, and hunkered down in the revision trenches. But what next? Apparently this is a problem for a lot of writers who learn how to write but never learn what to do next. So today we learned about publishing: editors, agents and more!

Then we took on those roles! The Older Group created their own literary agencies.


And the rest of us got our editor hats ready to help out friends in need. (No literally, we made paper hats and wrote “editor” on them so that we could wear them to indicate we were available to help our fellow writers.)

Mckenzie dawns her editor hat to help out a fellow writer.

When we felt we were ready with our pieces, we walked ‘agency row’ and found someone who’s taste matched our writing.

Frances worked for a long time on that story. What will Agent Anna have to say?

Often times we got an R&R (that’s insider talk for “Revise and Resubmit”) and it was back to working with our editor friends, trying to make our writing the best it could be. Eventually, an agent would take our work and represent us to a publisher (one of the facilitators), but it wasn’t over yet! They had to sell the work. They had to make the facilitator want to read it.

Agent Ishaan with his writer Ahren, pitching to Ms. Marta.

And maybe that would result in more R&Rs but eventually, finally, at some point… success!

Amongst the busy forum of the writer’s marketplace, David of the Hufflepuff Literary Agency shaking hands with Publisher Ms. Marta.

I.C.E. Writers is a place to learn and grow as a community. So much of that involves building trust, learning to have fun and share with each other. But today, we took that even further. Our writing is not a solitary task, but a collaborative one. We are proud of the work going into this year’s anthology because we know it’s the best. It’s not just that our writing went through peer review, but it had to be taken on by a peer willing to fight for it and a facilitator willing to spend their time submitting it to the E.AR.T.H. Publication camp.

Though at times we wore different hats, today, everyone was a writer and part of a larger, deeply interconnected writing community. And at the end of the day, everyone got  a writer’s dream… an acceptance letter.

Samantha published her two stories with the help of Editor Isabella, Agent Jet and Publisher Mr. Eric.

Lesson Learned: “A writer needs an editor, agent and publisher.”  Aubrey  

Quote of the Day:  “I’ve got my fidget spinner and Mr. Eric will share memes – You have my attention till lunch.”  -David, submitted by Jasmine


Day 9 at South Tampa I.C.E. Writers: “I am a Writer”

Today with Sue LaNeve was simply wonderful. She explained who she is and her journey to publication. She shared with our writers that rejection is very hard to take and it even derailed her for some time, but when you are ready to receive it,mature enough to handle it, it’s worth it!
Then we moved into a very FUN collaborative (chain writing) lesson which reviewed all of the useful writing tools we have learned this summer: writing with emotion, setting descriptions, specific details, plot, and she even sprinkled in how/why we use purposeful dialogue. She said writing stories is like, “A river of plot that comes between us, and we just grasp at ideas to form different stories from different perspectives.” I couldn’t sum up camp ANY better. Although we pride ourselves on the lessons we teach and the format of our camp created by an important special lady and experienced educator, we love being validated by people who actually appreciate the process and can speak to our writers as true authors. It’s a very cool thing!
Lesson Learned: Always read; always write; always read to write.
Quote of the Day: “I am a writer.” (She had each camper say their name and that phrase. It was powerful. Some of our facilitators even teared up a bit).

Day 8 at North Tampa I.C.E. Writers: But Why?

We began our day pondering the world around us, channeling the young child within, to ask why. Today’s craft lesson involved listening and reading fables and folktales, sometimes called “Pour quoi Tales.” Pour quoi is the French word for why and so we embarked on a short hike around the campus to draw inspiration from nature.  This led to questions about why things in our world are the way they are. These questions became the threads woven together to create delightful stories.   

As we approach the end of this writing experience, tomorrow we will be in full “publishing mode” in order to submit our final writing pieces for the anthology.


Lesson Learned: “Pour quoi tales explain the mysteries of the world.” ~ Nayana

Quote of the Day: “The more we walk the planet, the more experienced we become.” ~Ms. Mari – submitted by Ishaan


SAVE THE DATE! – We will have our Celebration of Writing on Friday June 28 at 1:00 pm.  It will be held in the Grand Room on the west side of the campus.


In Writing,

Ms. Mari, Ms. Marta, Ms. Charlie, and Ms. Heidi


Day 7 at North Tampa I.C.E. Writers: Let the Music Play

Ms. Mari led us on an imaginative journey “behind the music” to discover the stories behind the lyrics of songs.  We considered what might have happened just before or just after the lyrics, we tried to tell the back story or to tell the story from a different perspective.  Embedding our writing with authentic “text evidence” challenged us to read the lyrics closely and use them in purposeful and lyrical ways in our own writing.

Building upon today’s learning and writing, tomorrow we will ask questions about the world around us as we try our hand at writing fables and folk tales.


Lesson Learned: “I learned that you can use music to get a good first line.” ~ Jet

Quote of the Day: “Music is the only language everybody knows.” ~Ms. Mari – submitted by Ayaan


SAVE THE DATE! – We will have our Celebration of Writing on Friday June 28 at 1:00 pm.  It will be held in the Grand Room on the west side of the campus.


In Writing,

Ms. Mari, Ms. Marta, Ms. Charlie, and Ms. Heidi


Day 6 at South Tampa I.C.E. Writers: A Lot of Character

Another great start to another awesome week. Today, we spent the day delving deeply into Characters by pondering physical attributes, personality traits, as well as movement, dialect, thoughts, and mannerisms. Then through thoughtful questioning, our characters finally emerged so we could write about them. We ended the day comparing them to our favorite soda or sweet treat or veggie in Metaphor form. We pulled from Ms. Cathy’s AMP Day to stretch them even further.
Many of our campers are wrapping up their anthology pages, and a few are even deciding what to share on Friday. Campers came home with a hardcopy of the invite. We hope to see many of you there! Wash those blue shirts for Friday!
Lesson Learned: The importance of characters is how they feel and what you imagine about them.
Quote of the Day: “When you use characterization, you embrace your imagination.”
Much Love,
The South Tampa Team ❤