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The Writing Academy

Gerald Decker

Teen Scene, Inc.

The Writing Academy was one of the first items in the mission statement when I first started Teen Scene in Alabama in 2004. Due to health issues, it was never implemented. After a successful first year with The Teen Scene and Cape Fear Voices here in Leland, I thought this might be a good time to start it up again.

The Writing Academy is a perfect add-on to The Teen Scene concept. If we are going to promote writing and business skills, we should teach those skills as well. We want to develop programs that complement the efforts of professional educators to achieve a higher standard of writing. Many times over the years I have read that improving one’s ability to write can significantly enhance a student’s confidence in note-taking, cognitive learning, and test-taking. I believe that to be true.

The Writing Academy is unique because students who attend will also have the opportunity to put their newfound skills to work by writing for The Teen Scene. Experience has shown that immediate positive feedback from newly learned skills is the best reinforcer for those new skills.

Effective written communication is the secret to success for many who constantly strive to improve their grades, college opportunities and career choices. Writing is not always short stories or poetry. But it is always about learning the difference between speaking a thought and writing a thought.

So, it is the basics of writing, and the basics of study skills, that our program is designed to address. We don’t know how to make you a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, but maybe we can help you improve a grade level or two. If your goal in life is to be a “Professional” in your chosen field of endeavor, effective writing is a must.

Practice doesn’t always make one perfect, but it can make you better. Just ask athletes. The Writing Academy and The Teen Scene will allow students who want to improve their writing abilities and study skills to have all the practice they want. It is taking the time to practice that becomes the issue. So, a short class to learn how to practice and a monthly teen publication working together can give that student a practice field, just like athletes.

Brunswick Community College and the Brunswick Arts Council have enthusiastically joined in as partners in this program. BCC has provided

us with classrooms to conduct the classes, and BAC agreed to cover the first class funding cost. Others in the community have always donated money to help ensure that all students wanting to attend these classes can do so for free.

We have only just begun to advertise this program, so there is plenty of space for additional students. We are working hard to get the word out to parents and educators and hope to welcome many more students soon. Any middle or high school student in public, private, faith-based or home school is eligible to participate.

Janet Meuwissen, a writer for Cape Fear Voices, is a retired Principal and English teacher. We are very thankful that she has offered to teach the writing classes. I have taught Study Skills in the past and am excited to have the opportunity to work with students in this area. The need for additional teachers will be based on the parent/student responses we get as we move forward.

We publish Cape Fear Voices and The Teen Scene monthly. If you missed it at one of our distribution points, you can see all editions on our website: You can follow us on Facebook at and on Instagram at

For more information on this program please contact Gerald Decker at


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