July 23, 2020


A Remote-Learning experience for Writers ages 12-15

This Weekly Writing Seminar

Runs Feb 1 – May 3, 2020


Everyone wants to have a say. But finding the words and putting the words in the best order takes effort.

That doesn’t mean we can’t have fun along the way.

We meet once a week to explore topics and read examples of strong writing.

We write, we evaluate each other’s writing, then we revise. Then we evaluate some more.

(Lots of talking in here)

Every participant participates. You write and you talk.

Your guide, BRE, provides oral and written feedback.

Click Here to Email
Brett Reeves, Educator
to Register for This Course


Our Topics 

Identity–What Makes Me Who I Am
Responding to Art
Embarrassment and Shame
Food Memoir–We Are What We Eat
Making Ethical Decisions
Satire–Making Fun of Family

Wesley Kizer, the One-Eyed Westie

Schedule and Cost

Enrollment is limited to 6 participants per cohort.

Sessions run 60 minutes on Google Meet.

We meet once weekly for 13 weeks.

Cost is $120 prepaid or 3 payments of $45 each.

No books to buy! All texts are supplied digitally by the instructor.


COHORT meets Mondays 11am – 12pm CST (Feb 1 – May 3)

* No Meetings during Spring Break, March 14-20* 

Click Here to Email
Brett Reeves, Educator
to Register for This Course

Our Weekly Activities

Meeting 1 Who Am I? Who Are You? Who Cares?

Introduce Ourselves & the Course
Read & Discuss the following poems:

Maybe Dats Your Pwoblem Too

I’m Nobody

Once Barbie Chang Worked 


I’m No Superman

HOMEWORK: Write in the Voice of a Character: “Who Am I? What Do I Do? What Do I Want to Do? What’s Important to Me? Who’s Important to Me?”. Imitate one of the poems we read, or take your own direction. You may write poetry or prose or a dramatic monologue. 200-300 words


Meeting 2 What’s Going On Here?

Review “Who Am I?” submissions

Describe and Interpret “PandaDragon” painting:
Panda Dragon Painting

HOMEWORK: Revise “Who Am I?” based on discussion and comments. Think about ways you can make your writing grab and impress your reader.


Meeting 3 What’s That Again?

Review Panda Dragon Painting, then describe and interpret from memory

Explore WRITING ABOUT ART Handbook. What is Ekphrasis?

HOMEWORK: Choose a work of art and write either an analysis or an ekphrasis. Include an image of the art in your essay. You may write poetry or prose or drama. 300-500 words


Meeting 4 Why Does This Work?

Review Analyses and Ekphrases

Explore WRITING ABOUT ART Handbook

HOMEWORK: Revise Analyses and Ekphrases based on discussion and comments. 


Meeting 5 Blush

Review Analyses and Ekphrases

Read and Discuss “Big Boy”
“Big Boy” by David Sedaris

Read and Discuss “Shame”
“Shame” by Dick Gregory

HOMEWORK: Write about an embarrassing or discomfiting moment, yours or someone else’s. 1-2 pp. 


Meeting 6 Oh No!

Review Embarrassing/Discomfiting essays

HOMEWORK: Revise Embarrassing essays. Think about ways to make your reader feel in the moment.


Meeting 7 Smells Good

Introduce “My Cultural Recipe”: Describe your personality or heritage through food.

Review other writers’ Cultural Recipes:
Down Home Southern Cooking
A Live Chicken for a Wedding Present
Russian Tea Cakes  

HOMEWORK: Draft “My Cultural Recipe”
See Guide for the “My Cultural Recipe”–Instructions and Details  


Meeting 8 What’s Cooking?

Review “My Cultural Recipe” Drafts

Review other writers’ Cultural Recipes

Practice Sentence Structure

HOMEWORK: Revise “My Cultural Recipe”
See Guide for the “My Cultural Recipe”–Instructions and Details  


Meeting 9 Write and Wrong

Read “Is It Safe to Keep My Cleaning Lady?”
Problem Inquiry–The Case of the Cleaning Lady

Read Roxane Gay’s response to “Cleaning Lady” and selected responses to Gay
Problem Inquiry, Response: NYT, May 29, 2020  

Practice Vocabulary, Distinctions among Synonyms

HOMEWORK: Choose an ethical inquiry and write your own response.
Ethical Inquiry, Choices for Writing


Meeting 10 It’s All Good

Review Ethical Inquiry Responses

Practice Reading Comprehension and Analysis

HOMEWORK: Respond to a classmate’s Ethical Inquiry


Meeting 11 Dad Is Fat

Review Ethical Inquiry Responses

Read “Toddlerhood” from Dad Is Fat

Click Image to Purchase the Book

HOMEWORK: Draft a satirical look at family


Meeting 12 Duck!

Review Satire

Read “Newbornland” from Dad Is Fat

HOMEWORK: Revise your satire


Meeting 13 Survival

Present satires

Assess our progress as individual writers and as a collective


Click Here to Email
Brett Reeves, Educator
to Register for This Course


I center my classes around the exchange of ideas, a back-and-forth that requires and rewards participation. My participants tell me they enjoy the boldness of my curriculum choices, the gusto of my presentation, and the understanding they gain. We use and produce multimedia projects, including photos, video, music, and theater in our work together. Besides running a lively classroom, I like to take people on excursions–to museums, concerts, plays, Barton Springs–and enhance our experience. 

I’ve been a writer, editor, and educator for over 30 years. My published work includes journalism, textbooks, academic writing, advertising, historical nonfiction, poetry, and music. I’ve written and recorded my own songs and co-written songs with other artists. As an educator, I specialize in Writing, Literature, and the Liberal Arts. I focus on the participants, who they are and how they can benefit from our time together. 

I know that anyone who cares about learning can learn.

During the past few years, I have offered private courses to the Austin homeschooling community and also through Hill Country Academy and Austin Community College. 

Wesley Kizer, the One-Eyed Westie