To celebrate our 20th Anniversary in 2023, we’re highlighting 20 stories that have helped shape StoryStudio over the years. Each month of 2023, we’ll be featuring one or two members of our community as they share their story. Whether they came from the very first class that Jill started in 2003 when StoryStudio was just a few folding chairs and a dream, or they’re from the most recent cohort of Novel in a Year students, on their way to publishing a book; these members make StoryStudio what it is.
Below is Addison’s story.
StoryStudio was there for me during all the uncertainty of 2020. They were there when I grew into my capabilities a little more. And they were ready to accept where I was.
I’ve participated in StoryStudio summer camps for the past three years virtually from Virginia. To be honest I don’t know where I’d be without them. I think it’s safe to say that StoryStudio gave me not only an outlet for my creativity but a group of people who cared about writing just as much as I did. I sometimes wonder where I’d be if COVID had never hit; Would I have the love of literature I have now? Would I have had the confidence to show my love of writing to the world? Would I be who I am now? These thoughts fly around my head and take breaks when I stop at a zoom meeting to see some of my closest friends. I never thought I’d be with such an amazing group of people.
After the last day of camp, one of the members, Elliot, told us to join Discord. And from then on we held meetings called Writing Wednesdays, you guessed it, Wednesdays. In a few short months, we’d grow into our relationships with one another and start sharing things about ourselves that we never knew would come up. That camp gave me some of my best friends; people that I’ve seen grow up. Voices are deeper. Interests shifted. Colleges were picked. I found my big brother and sister, and younger siblings I’ve always wanted. I am an only child, who’s moved around the world for sixteen years of her life. I never had a place to call home or friends that knew me inside and out. This time around, I do. And we can laugh, cry, and make fun of each other all within the span of ten minutes. I am forever grateful for them and this organization.
I found my big brother and sister, and younger siblings I’ve always wanted. I am an only child, who’s moved around the world for sixteen years of her life. I never had a place to call home or friends that knew me inside and out. This time around, I do.
These camps gave me a place to show off my voice and grow into my style. They gave me the confidence and the joy of realizing I can pursue my dreams. I never would’ve thought at sixteen I could accomplish so much in the writing world. Even if no one really sees what I write, I’ve still finished many passion projects and have advocated for my personal beliefs.
A million thanks to Sahar Mustafah for keeping in touch with me and being one of the best mentors I could ask for. One day I will make it up to Chicago, I just know it. Until then, I hope everyone finds an outlet for their love because StoryStudio gave me just that.