Bonnie Carey (4th Grade Teacher)

Dear PTO,

The Elizabeth Berg Writer's Studio Weekend was an experience that surpassed even my highest hopes -- the intimacy of the setting afforded the other six attendees (now my friends and writing group!) and me exceptionally close interaction and engagement with Elizabeth and each other. The hours we spent together were joyful, intense, challenging, enriching, and affirming. I learned so much about myself as a writer, as a listener, as an encourager ... about writing ...about character, place and dialogue...about being an observer, a detail-gatherer, a celebrator and expressor of the grit and beauty of the everyday (note: read any of Berg's novels and see that I was at the feet of a master!). I experienced what it feels like to be in my students' shoes -- asked to write on command, to open myself up and take a risk, not only to pen my thoughts but also to share them aloud -- the vulnerability in receiving feedback from peers and from one who's immeasurably more experienced and accomplished than I -- the empathy in listening and giving feedback to others who've opened themselves up, as well.

I returned from the Writer's Studio filled to overflowing with all that I'd experienced and learned -- deeply moved, enriched, inspired -- excited to share with students and colleagues fresh ideas and insights -- and forever grateful to you, PTO, for your amazing generosity and support.

Heart full,
Bonnie Carey - 2017