FORT LARAMIE, Wyoming – Get your pencils, pens, keyboards, and touchpads ready. Fort Laramie National Historic Site and the Nebraska Writing Project will be hosting a virtual writing festival the week of April 12.
Teachers and students from fifth grade through high school are invited to this year’s festival. This will be a free digital event for classes and clubs able to watch online videos and participate in digital writing prompts. Participants will be encouraged to submit their work at the end of the festival for feedback and to be shared with the public through the park’s website.
The park will post a daily video that will help writers explore and be inspired by the fort’s role as a waystation and crossroads on western trails from April 12-15. Each video will be run from 30 to 40 minutes including an introduction to a trail story by a park ranger and a writing prompt led by a facilitator from the Nebraska Writing Project. The festival will conclude with a thank you video to be posted on April 16.
Enrichment materials will be available to adapt each session for learners of different abilities. This is flexible event, so take part in any or all of the following sessions after they open to the public:
Session 1: Memories and Marks – Journey with Ranger Clayton Hanson and Brenda Larabee, NeWP TC through the memories of travelers on the trails. Discover how your own memories can become memoirs.
Session 2: “The mail must go on” – Write and ride along with Ranger Joe Reasoner and Jan Knispel, NeWP TC and discover how high-speed communication was as important in the early 1860s as it is today. Trace the epic journey of the Pony Express and learn how three entrepreneurs and about 120 riders shrunk a nation that was on the brink of civil war.
Session 3: Crossroads - In this session, Ranger Eric Valencia and Diana Weis, NeWP TC present on how place remains with you. They center around the question: How do time and experience give us a perspective of place?
Session 4: Paths of the Mountain Men - In this session, Ranger Chris Mather and Judy Starke, NeWP TC will explore the tales and trade of mountain men on the western frontier.
To register, complete the Nebraska Writing Project online registration or contact Clayton Hanson (firstname.lastname@example.org) at the park to register via phone or e-mail.