Creative Writing Clubs and Tutoring Services
Druidawn Creative Writing Clubs and Tutoring Services
We host dozens of Druidawn-based writing clubs during the school year at all hours of the day. Some of our Druidawn Creative Writing Clubs meet in person at schools in the Colorado Front Range Area. But the majority of our groups are held online, using Skype video conferencing, and have attendees from all over the world. We cater to ages 7-18 in our clubs, and we tend to have the same number of boys as girls. We rarely accept new writing club students who are 14 and older. Druidawn is designed for children, not teens. However, if a child client stays in our services long enough to become a teen client, we will continue to serve them up to 18 years old if we have availability. This rule does not apply to private clients, who can sign up for services at any age.
We offer private mentoring and tutoring services all year round, as well as Druidawn Summer Fantasy Camp in June and July.
The service listed below is the focus of our curriculum in our writing clubs, and in our summer camps, but it can also be administered in private sessions with students requiring tutoring.
The Druidawn system is designed to motivate students to write creatively and to quickly develop a love of writing, even in the most reluctant of students.
We use a fiction content-based curriculum that focuses solely on writing technique, rather than mechanics such as grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc. Our job is to make writing itself an act of joy. It is by creating a passion for putting words onto paper first that we can then open an avenue toward improving overall writing performance (even mechanics, with some individual editing help). Handwriting, typing, concept writing, revision and editing are all separate skills, and when we work on the various aspects of writing individually, we relieve anxiety in students who are overwhelmed by all of the different parts of writing that they must someday master. Our writing clubs focus on concept writing, but the other aspects (such as improved typing skills, content revision and grammar editing can be covered in private tutoring sessions).
The first half of every writing club session (or tutoring session) is dedicated to Share Time, when students can share what they have written outside of club time and get some feedback from the teachers as well as the other students. This is the most learning-rich part of our club time because we use feedback as an opportunity to teach such concepts as character development, plot development, pacing, descriptions, settings, original language, show vs. tell, dialogue, metaphor, etc. Students also learn a great deal by listening to the writings of their peers and modeling their own writing styles based on the accomplishments they see in others.
The second half of our session is dedicated to playing a role-playing-game (NOT a video game!) called Legends of Druidawn, which takes the characters that our students have created on paper and puts them into action in an imaginary fantasy plot. The game utilizes dice, maps, character sheets, and verbal interactive storytelling in order to excite the writing process. Students create characters that we put into play in plots that combine pre-designed storylines with many improvised elements that spring spontaneously from the student-teacher interactions. Characters level-up, i.e., become more powerful, acquire magical items and can purchase weapons, pets, clothing, etc. in the Druidawn Store, based on the number of words that they write in their chosen fiction stories. As they level up, their characters can accomplish more in the game, and it is this imaginary play time that is the greatest motivator in getting our students to write. Druidawn also encourages teamwork, critical thinking skills, social skills, writing analysis, and teaches the essential elements of good storytelling. It appeals to most students who have good imaginations and is especially motivating to those who struggle with Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, ADHD, and Autism Spectrum or who are gifted young writers who need lots of stimulation as well as feedback on their writing and publishing opportunities.
Students are encouraged to work on revision and editing at home with the help of a parent, or to hire our editing services separately. We offer private editing and revision tutoring services at reasonable rates when available! We also offer technical writing tutoring (for essays, research, and response to literature papers). See below for our rates for these additional services.
It takes three students minimum to have an online writing club. Club meeting times are shorter for fewer kids. The meeting time for three students is 75 minutes. For four or more students, 90 minutes. Therefore, if you lose a member of your four-student writing club, your club sessions will be reduced in time by 15 minutes. (Don’t worry, the students don’t lose any game time in the 15-minute reduction – it comes off of Share Time). For the rare occasion that only two students are in a club, the sessions are 60 minutes.
We do not require long term commitment to our services. You can join or exit writing clubs or tutoring at any time, but refunds are only given if we receive advanced communication of departure. For writing clubs, any advanced tuition that you paid for the next unused month will be refunded to you if you drop out mid-quarter. For private tutoring, all advanced payments as of the following week after your departure will be refunded. If you join a writing club late in a quarter, your tuition will be pro-rated.
Enrolling your child in a Druidawn writing club is akin to enrolling them in any enrichment class or activity such as martial arts, sports, or scouts. There are no refunds or reschedulings for sessions your child misses due to illness, scheduling conflicts, or other complications. If our staff has to cancel a session due to teacher-related issues, you will be notified of your refund, rescheduling, or credit-forward options.
**See Refusal of Acceptance Notice on the last page of this document.**
Please note that our schedules are extremely full now! Most newcomers will be put on a wait list for the next available opening. Openings will increase as we hire new staff, but this is a slow process, so please be patient with us!
COST AND PAYMENT METHODS
Writing club payments are due before the first day of the new quarter! A billing email is sent out to all families before the end of each quarter to remind that payment is due for the next quarter. There are three quarters in a school year: FALL: September-November, WINTER: December-February, SPRING: March-May. Due to summer camps, we don’t offer writing clubs in the summer months.
Weekly Writing Club Cost: $247.50.00 per quarter, which covers 11 classes at $22.50 per session.
NOTE: There is an additional one-time workbook fee for all students using the Druidawn system of $27.00, which includes postage. Please include this fee with your first payment unless your child already has a copy of the workbook.
For Private Tutoring:
1 Child = $35.00 per 45-minute session for most of our tutors. Miriam Darnell, M.Ed., charges $1.00 per minute for tutoring sessions. Our tutors can also do 30-minute sessions for $25.00.
Payment for four sessions in advance is expected on all tutoring services.
There are no refunds for no-shows, so make sure you let us know in advance if your child will be missing a session! With proper notice, a missed private tutoring session can be rescheduled at no extra charge.
Payments can be made via PayPal, Venmo, or Zelle or mailed check.
PLEASE DO NOT SEND US MONEY OR ATTEMPT TO REGISTER FOR WRITING CLUBS UNTIL YOU HAVE CONTACTED US THROUGH EMAIL FIRST TO SEE WHAT’S AVAILABLE! MOST NEW-COMERS WILL NEED TO WAIT FOR AN OPENING! WE WILL SEND YOU A REGISTRATION FORM VIA EMAIL WHEN WE HAVE PLACED YOUR CHILD IN A WRITING CLUB.
You can schedule an individual student or a writing club of your own (3-5 students) with us. If you have an individual student, we will do our best to find the right placement for them in a writing club or other service that best suits their needs.
First, send us an inquiry email! Make sure to include the following information:
Name of your child.
Age and gender of your child.
Where you live (state and time zone are the most important things).
Child’s school (home schooled is fine).
A short description of your child’s writing ability, general attitude toward writing, any known disabilities (including behavior issues), and personal interests. We particularly need to know what your child likes to do in their free time and whether or not they have a good imagination!
A description of your child’s maturity level. Include the level of writing content your family is comfortable with them being exposed to from other writers in their class (Rated G, PG, PG-13, or uncensored).
Be as flexible as possible and list the days and times that your child would be available to participate in a writing club. Specify your time zone!
Send your email to: email@example.com
You'll hear back from us within 10 days.
Once your child is scheduled in a writing club, make sure you sign up for Skype video conferencing, which is where all of our online groups take place. Go to Skype.com and sign up for an account. It’s free, and as easy as signing up for an email account. Email us your child’s Skype name and add your teacher’s Skype name to your contact list. We will give you this information in your acceptance email.
At your writing club meeting time, sign into Skype and wait for us to invite your child into the conversation. That’s all there is to it!
SUPPLIES NEEDED DURING WRITING CLUB MEETINGS
The Legends of Druidawn Gamers Manual
Two 6-sided dice, or students can use random.org (a dice roller online)
A pencil for making changes to their character sheet
Something to write on (a computer or paper)
NOTICE OF REFUSAL OF ACCEPTANCE: If your child struggles with behavior modulation, we cannot accept them in our writing clubs. They will be considered for private tutoring services only. Online classroom management is difficult, and children who are disruptive ruin the experience for the others in their writing club. If your child struggles with any of the following expectations, please don't register them to be in a group, unless you intend to sit with them during every club session and help them manage their behavior. If we find your child to be too disruptive, we will notify you that they can no longer attend clubs and you will receive a refund of any unused months of paid tuition. For instance, if your child attended two sessions in September and they are asked to leave, you will receive a refund for your October and November payment. This is true of any child who drops out of our services mid-quarter as well.
Our Students Are Expected To:
Attend most of their classes (unless it's a special case and parents notify us of necessary absences). Parents are responsible for making sure their students are attending their writing clubs regularly. We don't track down missing students until they miss two sessions in a row.
Remain in front of their computer for the whole class period without leaving, unless they need a brief break for bathroom, to grab a snack, or to look for something they need for the class. If they need to be up and moving around, that's fine, as long as it's not disruptive to the group.
Respect their teacher and listen to instructions without excessive arguments.
Control their background noise. Please don't enroll your child in a club during a time when they'll be consistently in the car or somewhere else noisy.
Stay off of video games and other computer distractions during club time.
Respect the other students in their group at all times. No insults allowed! Give kind feedback to others on their writing, play fair, take turns, and give their club mates a chance to speak!
Give fair warnings ahead of time if they plan to share writing with the group that is above rated PG. If it's questionable at all, they will need to share their writing privately with their teacher first to get approval before going public with it. We do not censor our students in our writing clubs, but out of respect for other students who may be sensitive to some subjects, the teacher will decide if questionable material is appropriate to share with the whole group or not.
PARTICIPATE! Do their writing homework when possible (they can hand-write, type, or dictate their work to someone); share their work if they can (they can share privately with their teacher or publicly with the group by posting it in the chat, or by reading it aloud or both!); give positive feedback to other writers every week, and participate in the Druidawn Game.