Last night I received the most amazing proposal for an essay — what it was like growing up thinking certain things that are very real were actually urban legends, and what it was like to negotiate growing up with that confusion. I am inspired by the creativity and courage people have!
For anyone still wishing to joining the Essays on a West Virginia Childhood project, here is our timeline (flexible):
September 1, 2010 or sooner — share with me your proposed essay title and basic subject matter, as well as your estimated number of pages.
September 30, 2010 — share a draft of your essay (or final if you do not request any feedback).
October 15 — I’ll have feedback to anyone who requests it.
November 1 — We will make our work public.
Some ideas to consider are:
- How was your childhood different from what you see in WV today?
- Who were some incredible characters from your growing up?
- How did you spend your free time as a child?
- What role did your family members play in your life?
- What kinds of friends did you have? Any special animals or pets?
- What was your school experience?
- Was there an especially difficult event or dynamic in your childhood you want to explore in writing?
- Do you have what you might consider a uniquely WV element to your childhood, such as growing up in a coal community?
- What about social divides — were you a have in a world of have nots, or vice versa? How did that shape who you are today?
- How did you feel about WV growing up, and why do you think you felt that way?
- Were there any special areas of the state you visited as a child that made a lasting impression on you?
- What were your dreams or assumptions about the future when you were very young? Did those turn out to be on target, or different from life now?
- What observations do you have about the children in your life now, and what they are experiencing?