Spells Summer Writing Camp—Week 6

Monday, August 8–Friday, August 12
9 a.m.– 12:30 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab, 1425 N. 2nd Street, Philadelphia
For ages 7–12

Have you perfected your evil laugh? Hired a sinister henchman? Become a superhero’s nemesis? If so, then you might be nefarious enough to qualify for the Vile League of Villainy. Join us in our secret lair at Spells Writing Lab this summer, as we study all the despicable skills needed to become a true super villain. After assessing our fiendish tendencies, we’ll create suitably unpleasant backstories, develop horribly villainous costumes, and finalize our diabolical plans for world domination. Finally, we’ll document our dishonorable deeds by commandeering our sworn enemies’ favorite propaganda piece, the comic book, and telling the story our way—the villainous way.

Registration is free, but requires a refundable deposit of $25 plus processing charges. The registration will not be valid until the deposit has been received by Spells Writing Lab.

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Spells Summer Writing Camp—Week 5

Monday, August 1–Friday, August 5
9 a.m.– 12:30 p.m. M, Tu, Th, F
9 a.m.–4:00 p.m. W for field trip
at Spells Writing Lab, 1425 N. 2nd Street, Philadelphia
For ages 7–12

Revolution is brewing! Walk in the footsteps of the founding fathers as we visit the historic Powel House to learn more about colonial life and how including period details can make historical fiction seem real. Then we’ll jaunt out to the rural summer villas of the Philadelphia elite to imagine the stories those walls could tell. This trip through time ends with a performance of puppet plays we’ll write about those Charms of Fairmount Park to bring this exciting era to life.

This camp week includes two field trips thanks to the generosity of the Fairmount Park Conservancy, the stewardship groups of the Charms of Fairmount Park, and the Philadelphia Society for the Preservation of Landmarks.

Registration is free, but requires a refundable deposit of $25 plus processing charges. The registration will not be valid until the deposit has been received by Spells Writing Lab.

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Spells Summer Writing Camp—TEEN STUDENTS

Monday, July 25–Friday, July 29
9 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab,, 1425 N. 2nd Street, Philadelphia
For ages 12–16

How concisely can you tell a scripted story? With help from a local web series writer and producer, we’ll get a crash course in writing webisodes, those short, serialized TV episodes that live on the Internet, and how they’re different from writing for regular TV or films. Then we’ll create our own Instagram-based web series that reveal the plot in daily 15-second increments—breaking down and storyboarding the key story beats, writing scripts, filming and editing the episodes, and then premiering and promoting our super-short webisodes on social media.

Registration is free, but requires a refundable deposit of $25 plus processing charges. The registration will not be valid until the deposit has been received by Spells Writing Lab.

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Spells Summer Writing Camp—Week 3

Monday, July 18–Friday, July 22
9 a.m.– 12:30 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab, 1425 N. 2nd Street, Philadelphia
For ages 7–12

Welcome, aspiring astronauts, to Dr. Spells’ Space Camp, where we will perform NASA-inspired experiments to expand our understanding of the great beyond! From stars to Mars, and all the black holes and meteors in between, we’ll combine that real space knowledge with our imaginations as we trek across the universe, creating strange new worlds and alien lifeforms and writing science fiction. So grab your pencils and buckle into our spacecraft, the Spells Sputnik 500, as we shoot out to the Milky Way!

Registration is free, but requires a refundable deposit of $25 plus processing charges. The registration will not be valid until the deposit has been received by Spells Writing Lab.

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Spells Summer Writing Camp—Week 2

Monday, July 11– Friday, July 15
9 a.m.– 12:30 p.m. M, Tu, Th, F
9 a.m.–4:00 p.m. W for field trip
at Spells Writing Lab, 1425 N. 2nd Street, Philadelphia
For ages 7–12

Are you a foodie? Do you watch shows like Man vs. Food; Drivers, Dine-Ins, and Dives; and Top Chef? Love to try new foods? Want to tell other people the best places to eat in Philly? If so, our Kids v. Food adventure is perfect for you! Test out your taste buds on many flavors, from sour and salty to sweet and spicy. After learning from professional food writers like restaurant critics, food bloggers, and even chefs, we’ll review each bite, sharing our opinions with the masses. So pick up those forks, spoons, knives—and pencils. Be our guest as we put others’ cooking to the test!

Registration is free, but requires a refundable deposit of $25 plus processing charges. The registration will not be valid until the deposit has been received by Spells Writing Lab.

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Spells Summer Writing Camp—Week 1

Tuesday, July 5–Friday, July 8
9 a.m.– 12:30 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab, 1425 N. 2nd Street, Philadelphia
For ages 7–12

Ahoy, mateys! Be ye a landlubber that dreams of sailing under the Jolly Roger? Join the sea dogs of Spells as we plunder pieces of eight, write sea shanties, and get a crash course in pirates—from bilge rats to hornswagglers to scurvy. Then share yer swashbuckling tales with pictures and words as ye create stories about yer seafaring adventures. But avast, me hearties! Act smartly, lest ye be forced to walk the plank.

Registration is free, but requires a refundable deposit of $25 plus processing charges. The registration will not be valid until the deposit has been received by Spells Writing Lab.

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Tuesdays, May 3–May 24, 2016
10:30am–12:30pm OR 1:00pm–3:00pm
at Free Library of Philadelphia Chestnut Hill Branch, 8711 Germantown Avenue, Philly
For children in grades 2–6

The Science of Experimental Writing is a four-session series of linked creative writing workshops presented in local public, charter, parochial, and independent schools—and now we’re offering this program for homeschoolers!

During these immersive and engaging classroom visits, students learn how to lie like an author, rethink how they approach revisions, and reimagine their stories in surprising ways.

We are offering this special program in partnership with the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Chestnut Hill Branch on Tuesdays starting on May 3 and running through May 24. When registering, please select the time that works best for your family: 10:30am–12:30pm or 1pm–3pm.

Students should plan to attend all four sessions of the program, as the writing activities are linked.

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A free creative writing and image-making workshop

Saturday, March 5, 2016
1:00–4:00 p.m.
at Moore College of Art & Design, Room 206
20th Street and the Parkway
Taught by Spells Writing Lab staff and AIGA Philadelphia Graphic Design Students
Ages 7–13

DO YOU LOVE YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD?
What’s your favorite place, building, park, or person where you live? Is there something unique about your home? What smells, sounds, and tastes make you feel safe and happy? There’s something special about all of the diverse communities and citizens that make up Philadelphia. No matter what the size or location, we all feel a sense of pride and love for the familiar feeling of our neighborhoods.

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Join Spells Writing Lab and AIGA Philadelphia for the sixth annual This Is My Philly writing and image-making workshop celebrating the special neighborhoods of our city! During this workshop, participants will write a sensory poem evoking Philly’s positive qualities and work with design students from programs at local colleges to illustrate them with collages that showcase “My Philadelphia.”

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Wednesday, March 2
3:30–5:30 p.m.
at the Chestnut Hill Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia
8711 Germantown Avenue
(Germantown Ave. & Bethlehem Pike)
Taught by Spells Writing Lab
For ages 6–12

*No registration necessary for this special library program!*

This March 2, we’re celebrating the birthday of Theodor Geisel—and Read Across America Day—with a superbly Seussical writing workshop inspired by his first published book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street! Join us as we put on our red-striped hats, appreciate the master’s words, and create some silly stories and rambunctious rhymes of our own. It’ll be a birthday celebration to remember!

 
 

Saturday, February 20
1:30–3:30 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab
Crane Arts Old School Building
1417 N. 2nd Street, Studio 1*
Taught by the staff of Spells Writing Lab and the BRIDGE
For ages 7–12

*Studio 1 can be accessed by walking through the Crane Arts Old School parking lot and entering the door at the top of the ramp (to the left of the callbox). Once inside, enter the door to the right and look for us in the lounge area!

Join Spells for our first weekend workshop in our new location, as we partner with BRIDGE to bring you a writing experience unlike anything you’ve done before!

We’re celebrating Dr. Seuss’s birthday a few weeks early, using yoga as a way to jump start tales inspired by his first book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street. Through imaginative movement and breathing exercises designed to help remove writer’s block and allow kids to be silly and outlandish, students will tap into their creativity in brand new ways while making “mountains from minnows” and creating a Seussical story of their own.

Participants should wear loose, comfortable clothing beneath weather-appropriate outerwear, as we will be walking around the neighborhood for part of the workshop, and plan on removing shoes inside the studio. Yoga mats will be provided.

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Monday, Aug 10–Friday, Aug 14
9 a.m.–12:30 p.m. M, Tu, Th, F
9 a.m.–4:00 p.m. W (field trip)
Ages 7–12

*REGISTRATION CLOSED*

Dr. Spells and his malfunctioning time machine are stuck bouncing around the time-space continuum, and we have to save him! We’ll “visit” a wide variety of times & places—including a real trip to the Penn Museum—and use these flights of fancy to inspire time-travel graphic novels and other temporal-themed stories.

Registration is free, but requires a refundable deposit of $25 via credit card, PayPal, check, or cash. The registration will not be valid until the deposit has been received by Spells Writing Lab.


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Monday, Aug 3–Friday, Aug 7
9 a.m.–12:30 p.m. M–F
Ages 7–12

*REGISTRATION CLOSED*

Spells Writing Lab has become a crime scene—can you help us solve this whodunit? Our junior detectives will experiment with forensic science and other investigative techniques as we learn about the elements of a good mystery story, from creating strong characters to revealing clues. How will the mystery end?

Registration is free, but requires a refundable deposit of $25 via credit card, PayPal, check, or cash. The registration will not be valid until the deposit has been received by Spells Writing Lab.


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Monday, July 27–Friday, July 31
9 a.m.–12:30 p.m. M, Tu, Th, F
8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. W (field trip)
Ages 7–12

*REGISTRATION CLOSED*

Join us this summer to try your hand at a variety of sports writing, from blogs and podcasts to sportscasting and feature stories. We’ll even take a field trip to the Camden Riversharks’ Campbell Field for a behind-the-scenes tour before attending a game. If you’re a good sports writer, you could…go…all…the…way!

Registration is free, but requires a refundable deposit of $25 via credit card, PayPal, check, or cash. The registration will not be valid until the deposit has been received by Spells Writing Lab.


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Monday, July 20–Friday, July 24
9 a.m.–12:30 p.m. M, W, Th, F
9 a.m.–4:00 p.m. Tu (field trip)
Ages 12–16

*REGISTRATION CLOSED*

Every year, thousands of visitors travel to the City of Brotherly Love for experiences found nowhere else: reliving history at Independence Hall; eating a cheesesteak in South Philly; running up the steps of the Art Museum like Rocky. But you are a real Philadelphian—what’s your can’t-miss list of things to do and see? What are your favorite Philly moments? Together, we’ll write and film a short travel documentary sharing the people, places, and experiences that make our hometown unique for tourists and residents alike. It’s your city: tell your story.

Registration is free, but requires a refundable deposit of $25 via credit card, PayPal, check, or cash. The registration will not be valid until the deposit has been received by Spells Writing Lab.


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Monday, July 6–Friday, July 10
9 a.m.–12:30 p.m. M, Tu, Th, F
9 a.m.–4:00 p.m. W (field trip)
Ages 7–12

*REGISTRATION CLOSED*

Share your love of Philadelphia while experimenting with many different types of travel writing, from using sensory details to describe favorite Philadelphia memories to writing reviews of wacky tourist attractions that suddenly pop up in our lab. Midweek, we’ll break into small groups for a field trip to film segments for a travel documentary about the best free things to do in Philly!

Registration is free, but requires a refundable deposit of $25 via credit card, PayPal, check, or cash. The registration will not be valid until the deposit has been received by Spells Writing Lab.


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Monday, June 29–Thursday, July 2
9 a.m.–12:30 p.m. M–Th
(Note: This is a 4-day camp week.)
Ages 7–12

*REGISTRATION CLOSED*

Howdy, partner! We’re starting off the summer with a visit to the Old West. Immersing ourselves in the history of the American frontier, we’ll write historical fiction stories, create Native-American-inspired pourquoi tales, and produce silent Western films. Dust off your cowboy boots and spurs, and join us for this week of western fun!

Registration is free, but requires a refundable deposit of $25 via credit card, PayPal, check, or cash. The registration will not be valid until the deposit has been received by Spells Writing Lab.


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Monday, June 22–Friday, June 26
9 a.m.–12:30 p.m. M, W, Th
9 a.m.–4:00 p.m. Tu, F (field trip)
Ages 12–16

*REGISTRATION CLOSED*

Join our team of intrepid explorers as we combine choose-your-own-adventure storytelling with the excitement of a hands-on scavenger hunt. Along the trail, we’ll explore digital and gaming technologies like geo-caching and QR codes to create narrative treasure maps. The stories we create are sure to leave their mark on Philadelphia.

Registration is free, but requires a refundable deposit of $25 via credit card, PayPal, check, or cash. The registration will not be valid until the deposit has been received by Spells Writing Lab.


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Saturday, May 16
1:30–3:30 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab, 2526 N. Alder Street
Taught by Spells Writing Lab
For ages 7–12

Join us on the third Saturday of each month, as we turn our writing center into a mad scientist’s laboratory to perform totally messy, thrilling, and crazy experiments guaranteed to make your mom glad you’re not doing them at her house! Assuming we survive, these daring demonstrations serve as inspiration for more experiments—in writing!

This month, we’ll go behind-the-scenes to find out how filmmakers use science to make movies—including those amazing 3-D effects!

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Saturday, April 18
1:30–3:30 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab, 2526 N. Alder Street
Taught by Spells Writing Lab
For ages 7–12

Join us on the third Saturday of each month, as we turn our writing center into a mad scientist’s laboratory to perform totally messy, thrilling, and crazy experiments guaranteed to make your mom glad you’re not doing them at her house! Assuming we survive, these daring demonstrations serve as inspiration for more experiments—in writing!

This month, we’ll be investigating the scientific concepts that inspired our favorite superheroes, from Spiderman’s power to climb up buildings to Superman’s ability to jump over them, plus many more!

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Saturday, February 28, 2015
1:00–4:00 p.m.
at Moore College of Art & Design, Room 206
20th Street and the Parkway
Taught by Christina Rose and AIGA Philadelphia Graphic Design Students
Ages 7–13

What do you love about your neighborhood? What hidden gems—favorite places, experiences, people, and foods—can be found where you live? What makes your community unique and special? How does living in Philadelphia inspire you? No matter what the size or location, we all feel a sense of pride and love for our neighborhoods. With help from Spells Writing Lab volunteers and graphic design college students from around the city, you can put your feelings about Philadelphia on paper, creating a collage and supporting poem expressing your love for YOUR Philly.

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Spells Writing Lab is partnering with AIGA Philadelphia for the fifth time to celebrate the special neighborhoods of our city. AIGA Philadelphia is a local organization comprised of creatives such as graphic designers, illustrators, educators, etc. During this workshop held at Moore College of Art & Design, participants will have the opportunity to see how professionally trained creatives work. After the workshop, graphic design students will work together to design a larger project or display that features all the pieces created in this workshop.

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Saturday, February 21
1:30–3:30 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab, 2526 N. Alder Street
Taught by Spells Writing Lab
For ages 7–12

Join us on the third Saturday of each month, as we turn our writing center into a mad scientist’s laboratory to perform totally messy, thrilling, and crazy experiments guaranteed to make your mom glad you’re not doing them at her house! Assuming we survive, these daring demonstrations serve as inspiration for more experiments—in writing!

In past sessions, we’ve made monster ice cream, held balloon races, used forensic science to solve a crime, and created our own natural disasters. What crazy experiments will we attempt this month? Join us and find out!

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Saturday, December 20
1:30–3:30 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab, 2526 N. Alder Street
Taught by Spells Writing Lab
For ages 7–12

Join us on the third Saturday of each month, as we turn our writing center into a mad scientist’s laboratory to perform totally messy, thrilling, and crazy experiments guaranteed to make your mom glad you’re not doing them at her house! Assuming we survive, these daring demonstrations serve as inspiration for more experiments—in writing!

Learn the science skills of NASA engineers and astronauts as our December Sat Sci Club heads to outer space! In past sessions, we’ve made monster ice cream, held balloon races, used forensic science to solve a crime, and created our own natural disasters. What crazy experiments will we attempt this month? Join us and find out!

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Saturday, November 15
1:30–3:30 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab, 2526 N. Alder Street
Taught by Spells Writing Lab
For ages 7–12

Join us on the third Saturday of each month, as we turn our writing center into a mad scientist’s laboratory to perform totally messy, thrilling, and crazy experiments guaranteed to make your mom glad you’re not doing them at her house! Assuming we survive, these daring demonstrations serve as inspiration for more experiments—in writing!

This November, our Sat Sci Club participants will learn how to use forensic science to solve a crime. In past sessions, we’ve made monster ice cream, held balloon races, and created our own natural disasters. What crazy experiments will we attempt this month? Join us and find out!

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Saturday, October 18
1:30–3:30 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab, 2526 N. Alder Street
Taught by Spells Writing Lab
For ages 7–12

Join us on the third Saturday of each month, as we turn our writing center into a mad scientist’s laboratory to perform totally messy, thrilling, and crazy experiments guaranteed to make your mom glad you’re not doing them at her house! Assuming we survive, these daring demonstrations serve as inspiration for more experiments—in writing!

October’s Sat Sci Club gets into the Halloween spirit with a haunted laboratory theme. In past sessions, we’ve made monster ice cream, held balloon races, used forensic science to solve a crime, and created our own natural disasters. What crazy experiments will we attempt this month? Join us and find out!

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Afternoon Camp Week for Older Students

*CLOSE TO CAPACITY, WAIT LIST ONLY*

Monday, August 11–Friday, August 15
1:30–5:00 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Spells Writing Lab
For ages 12–16

Are you a devoted gamer? Ever wondered how those video games are made? Learn about the basic elements of game design—Space, Components, Mechanics, Goals, and Rules—using both real-world and virtual tools.  Discover why story lines, characters, and even settings are as essential to making a successful game as they are to writing a book. Craft a proposal to pitch your original idea to gaming companies. We’ll even design our own simple online games, then let others play them and tell you what they think!

Registration is free, but requires a refundable deposit of $25 via credit card, PayPal, check, or cash. The registration will not be valid until the deposit has been received by Spells Writing Lab.

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Spells Summer Writing Camp—Week 6

*WAIT LIST CLOSED, NO FURTHER REGISTRATIONS BEING ACCEPTED*

Monday, August 11–Friday, August 15
9 a.m.– 12:30 p.m. (friends and family are invited to the premiere performance of our plays on Friday at noon)
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Spells Writing Lab
For ages 7–12

Dr. Spells is planning to premiere several one-act plays about fractured fairy tales this August on the outdoor stage in Ile Ife Park, in front of Spells Writing Lab. But there’s a problem—the plays haven’t been written yet! Learn the basics of playwriting and mashing up classic stories, then work in small groups to write the scripts, create the backdrops and props, and perform these new theatrical works, all in one week! These aren’t your average fairy tales, and with Dr. Spells around, who knows what kinds of other creatures might make their way into our story?

Registration is free, but requires a refundable deposit of $25 via credit card, PayPal, check, or cash. The registration will not be valid until the deposit has been received by Spells Writing Lab.

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Spells Summer Writing Camp—Week 5

*WAIT LIST CLOSED, NO FURTHER REGISTRATIONS BEING ACCEPTED*

Monday, August 4–Friday, August 8
9 a.m.– 12:30 p.m. (one day of camp may have extended hours to accommodate a field trip)
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Spells Writing Lab
For ages 7–12

Are you an aspiring songwriter? Learn the ins and outs of rhythm and rhyme as we transform our lab into a songwriting studio! We’ll work with professional musicians to learn what lyrics and poems have in common, inject some new life into classic tunes, and sing the blues. See the other side of the music business as we become music critics, reviewing songs from a variety of recording artists. By the end of the week, we’ll write an original song, perform it, and even film our own music video!

Note: One day of camp may have extended hours to accommodate a field trip.

Registration is free, but requires a refundable deposit of $25 via credit card, PayPal, check, or cash. The registration will not be valid until the deposit has been received by Spells Writing Lab.

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Afternoon Camp Week for Older Students

*CLOSE TO CAPACITY, WAIT LIST ONLY*

Monday, July 28–Friday, August 1
1:30–5:00 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Spells Writing Lab
For ages 12–16

Are you into anime? A fan of flicks like Toy Story, Wallace & Gromit, Spirited Away, or The Lego Movie? A regular watcher of animated sitcoms such as The Simpsons or Family Guy? Animations like these are actually a series of thousands of pictures lined up in order—whether they are hand-drawn, taken with a camera, or made on a computer. There’s no need to be an expert illustrator, since you can even animate a stick figure drawing. Join us at Spells as we learn the techniques of top-notch animators and make our own animated stories using a wide variety of animation methods!

Registration is free, but requires a refundable deposit of $25 via credit card, PayPal, check, or cash. The registration will not be valid until the deposit has been received by Spells Writing Lab.

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Spells Summer Writing Camp—Week 4

*WAIT LIST CLOSED, NO FURTHER REGISTRATIONS BEING ACCEPTED*

Monday, July 28–Friday, August 1
9 a.m.– 12:30 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Spells Writing Lab
For ages 7–12

Our mysterious founder, Dr. Benjamin Franklin Spells, is a writer, publisher, inventor—and avid adventurer! Join us for this thrilling week of action, as we recreate some of his wildest exploits and find creative solutions for escaping death or dismemberment. The Spells Adventurers will be traveling the globe (in our minds) to complete team challenges, write dramatic Choose-Your-Own Adventure stories, and save Dr. Spells from certain destruction on the slopes of an erupting volcano!

Registration is free, but requires a refundable deposit of $25 via credit card, PayPal, check, or cash. The registration will not be valid until the deposit has been received by Spells Writing Lab.

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Spells Summer Writing Camp—Week 3

*WAIT LIST CLOSED, NO FURTHER REGISTRATIONS BEING ACCEPTED*

Monday, July 21–Friday, July 25
9 a.m.– 12:30 p.m. (day of field trip will have extended hours, date TBD)
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Spells Writing Lab
For ages 7–12

If you love animals, this is the week for you! Each morning we’ll transform into Animal Explorers, seeking out local wildlife in the green spaces around Spells, writing shaped poetry and animal tales, and discovering our own imaginary creatures while on safari. We’ll even take a field trip to the National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum to film our own wildlife TV show! With special animal guests and plenty of critter creativity, this camp is sure to delight!

Note: One day of camp will have extended hours to accommodate our field trip to the National Wildlife Refuge, exact date TBD. All students will be required to have an animal waiver signed by a parent or guardian before participating in this camp week.

Registration is free, but requires a refundable deposit of $25 via credit card, PayPal, check, or cash. The registration will not be valid until the deposit has been received by Spells Writing Lab.

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Afternoon Camp Week for Older Students

*CLOSE TO CAPACITY, WAIT LIST ONLY*

Monday, July 14–Friday, July 18
1:30–5:00 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Spells Writing Lab
For ages 12–16

Dr. Spells is not only our mysterious founder, he’s also a big-time Hollywood producer. After the success of our previous short films, he’s ready to commission a new movie from his favorite screenwriters, the students of Spells. Join us for this crash course in filmmaking from green light to popcorn, as we brainstorm ideas, write a screenplay, shoot the movie, add visual effects, and premiere it—all in just one week!

Registration is free, but requires a refundable deposit of $25 via credit card, PayPal, check, or cash. The registration will not be valid until the deposit has been received by Spells Writing Lab.

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Spells Summer Writing Camp—Week 2

*WAIT LIST CLOSED, NO FURTHER REGISTRATIONS BEING ACCEPTED*

Monday, July 14–Friday, July 18
9 a.m.– 12:30 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Spells Writing Lab
For ages 7–12

Wonder what games have to do with writing? Almost all games tell some kind of story, from the fairy tale journey through Candyland to the mystery-solving challenge of Clue. First we’ll break down the basics of good game design, experimenting to answer questions like “What makes a game fun to play?” and “How does changing one element affect the gameplay?” Then we’ll make our ideas a reality by creating original games—designing the board and pieces, writing the rules, making the box, and even drawing ads for our new products!

Registration is free, but requires a refundable deposit of $25 via credit card, PayPal, check, or cash. The registration will not be valid until the deposit has been received by Spells Writing Lab.

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Spells Summer Writing Camp—Week 1

*WAIT LIST CLOSED, NO FURTHER REGISTRATIONS BEING ACCEPTED*

Monday, July 7–Friday, July 11
9 a.m.– 12:30 p.m. (one day of camp will have extended hours to accommodate a field trip)
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Spells Writing Lab
For ages 7–12

Welcome to Monster School! Dr. Spells is awfully sorry, but his Monster-Making Machine has gone haywire, and you’ve been transformed into one of his lab experiments gone wrong. In order to adapt to your new life, you’ll need to study up on the history of your beastly brethren, revealing the real stories behind Hollywood legends like Frankenstein’s monster, the Mummy, and Dracula. Other classes on your scary schedule include mad science, insect inspiration, and graphic novel writing for new monsters—will you make the ghoulish grade?

Note: One day of camp will have extended hours to accommodate a field trip, details TBD.

Registration is free, but requires a refundable deposit of $25 via credit card, PayPal, check, or cash. The registration will not be valid until the deposit has been received by Spells Writing Lab.

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Saturday, May 10
11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Justin Relkin
Ages 7–13

Ever seen a magic trick and been drawn in by the story as much as the magic? Magicians always rely on a script to make the illusion seem completely real for their audience. In this magic-packed workshop, you’ll learn simple, deceptive sleights of hand and then take them to the next level by creating a story to mystify your spectators and leave them scratching their heads and believing you have supernatural powers. We’ll begin with the three secret rules of magic and move on to the tricks and the scripting. Leave your bunny and top hat at home (if you have one, that is)—this is serious street magic you’ll be able to do at home, school, or on the go to really wow people!

 
 

Sunday, April 27
2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Kathleen O'Neill and the South Philly Striders
Ages 7–13

Want to have your writing seen by an audience of 40,000+ people, all in one morning? On May 4, ten miles of Broad Street will be closed to traffic for the annual Broad Street Run, a race that features some of the world’s fastest runners, plus many of your friends, neighbors, teachers, and maybe even a family member or two! During this workshop a week before the big event, we’ll create signs to inspire the runners to glory or maybe just make them smile.

Drawing from classic advertising techniques, we’ll brainstorm how to deliver a message in one shot, what makes a slogan catchy, and how humor can get your point across. Then we’ll create our signs with help from members of a local running group and practice all the best ways to cheer runners on to the finish—including adding a little more cowbell. Get ready to take your writing to the streets of Philly!

*Note: Each participant will receive a cowbell they can use while cheering on runners during the Broad Street Run.

 
 

Saturday, April 12
1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
*public poetry reading at 2:30 p.m.*
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Spells Writing Lab
Ages 7–13

What’s your favorite song? Did you know that it’s basically a poem set to music? Poetry is all around us—in song lyrics, rap battles, and even advertising slogans! Join Spells as we celebrate National Poetry Month and Philly Poetry Day with a guided verse-writing session, followed by a public performance on the Ile Ife Park stage across from our lab (weather permitting)! Never performed a poem in public? No problem! We’ll play some games to get us warmed up and ready for reading out loud, then practice our poems until we’re performing like pros!

Friends and family are invited to join us at 2:30 p.m. for the poetry reading!

 
 

Saturday, March 8
1:00–4:00 p.m.
at Moore College of Art & Design, Room 206
20th Street and the Parkway
Taught by Christina Rose and AIGA Philadelphia Graphic Design Students
Ages 7–13

What do you love about your neighborhood? What hidden gems—favorite places, experiences, people, and foods—can be found where you live? What makes your community unique and special? How does living in Philadelphia inspire you? No matter what the size or location, we all feel a sense of pride and love for our neighborhoods. With help from Spells Writing Lab volunteers and graphic design college students from around the city, you can put your feelings about Philadelphia on paper, creating a collage and supporting poem expressing your love for YOUR Philly.

Spells Writing Lab is partnering with AIGA Philadelphia for the fourth time to celebrate the special neighborhoods of our city. AIGA Philadelphia is a local organization comprised of creatives such as graphic designers, illustrators, educators, etc. During this workshop held at Moore College of Art & Design, participants will have the opportunity to see how professionally trained creatives work. After the workshop, graphic design students will work together to design a larger project or display that features all the pieces created in this workshop.

Register Now

 
 

Spells Summer Writing Camp—Week 6

*REGISTRATION FULL—WAIT LIST ONLY*

Monday, August 12–Friday, August 16
9 a.m.– 12:30 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Spells Writing Lab
For ages 7–12

Shhh….Spells Writing Lab is seeking talented young writers for a top-secret undercover assignment at our Spy School. Create your legend, gather pocket litter, and become a master of disguise. Learn the art of cryptography so you can send and decipher encoded messages. Then write fictionalized accounts of your most mysterious adventures. After an intensive week of training by our operatives, you’ll have to use your secret agent skills to save Dr. Spells from the mole in our organization. Do you have what it takes to be a master spy?

Registration is free, but requires a refundable deposit of $25 via credit card, PayPal, check, or cash. The registration will not be valid until the deposit has been received by Spells Writing Lab.

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Spells Summer Writing Camp—Week 5

*A FEW SPOTS HAVE OPENED UP—EMAIL WRITE@PHILLYSPELLS.ORG TO SIGN UP!*

Monday, August 5–Friday, August 9
9 a.m.– 12:30 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Spells Writing Lab
For ages 7–12

Boom goes the dynamite! Whether you’re a die-hard Philadelphia sports fan or prefer to play ball yourself, join us at Spells to write about all your favorite sports! We’ll get the ball rolling by meeting some real sports reporters and learn how their job goes beyond just writing the final score of the game to describe the details, atmosphere, and stories of the event for readers who were not there. Then we’ll hit it out of the park by trying out other forms of sports writing, from blogs and podcasts to sportscasting and feature stories. Who knows? If you’re a good sports writer, you could…go…all…the…way!

Registration is free, but requires a refundable deposit of $25 via credit card, PayPal, check, or cash. The registration will not be valid until the deposit has been received by Spells Writing Lab.

PLEASE NOTE: The Wednesday or Thursday session of this camp week may be extended, pending confirmation of a field trip. If we are able to make it happen, campers would be requested to contribute $10 toward expenses.

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Spells Summer Writing Camp—Week 4

*REGISTRATION FULL—WAIT LIST ONLY*

Monday, July 29–Friday, August 2
9 a.m.– 12:30 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Spells Writing Lab
For ages 7–12

Welcome, aspiring astronauts! For one week this summer, Spells will become Dr. Spells’ Space Camp, as we perform NASA-inspired experiments to expand our understanding of the great beyond! From stars to Mars, and all the black holes and meteors in between, we’ll combine that real space knowledge with our imaginations as we trek across the universe, creating strange new worlds and alien lifeforms and writing science fiction. So grab your pencils and buckle into our spacecraft, the Spells Sputnik 500, as we shoot out to the Milky Way!

Registration is free, but requires a refundable deposit of $25 via credit card, PayPal, check, or cash. The registration will not be valid until the deposit has been received by Spells Writing Lab.

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Special Afternoon Camp Week for Older Students

Monday, July 29–Friday, August 2
1:30–5:00 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Spells Writing Lab, with guest instructors from Maker Corps, Free Library of Philadelphia
For ages 11–15

Do you own a PlayStation3, Xbox 360, Wii, or Nintendo DS? Interested in games like Mario Party, Zelda, or PacMan? Ever wondered how those games are made? During this special afternoon week of writing camp, learn how to make your own video games! We’ll be inventing some unusual game controllers, developing a storyline, characters, and levels, and learning how to pitch our games to companies. We’ll even design our own simple online games, then let others play them and tell you what they think!

Registration is free, but requires a refundable deposit of $25 via credit card, PayPal, check, or cash. The registration will not be valid until the deposit has been received by Spells Writing Lab.

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Spells Summer Writing Camp—Week 3

Monday, July 22– Friday, July 26
9 a.m.– 12:30 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Spells Writing Lab
For ages 7–12

Are you a foodie? Do you watch shows like Man vs. Food; Drivers, Dine-Ins, and Dives; and Top Chef? Love to try new foods? Want to tell other people the best places to eat in Philly? if so, our Kids v. Food adventure is perfect for you! Join us kid connoisseurs (fancy for “food lovers”) as we chow down on kid-friendly cuisines. Test out your taste buds on many flavors, from sour and salty to sweet and spicy. After learning from professional food writers like restaurant critics, food bloggers, and even chefs, we’ll review each bite, sharing our opinions with the masses! So pick up those forks, spoons, knives—and pencils! Be our guest as we put others’ cooking to the test!

Registration is free, but requires a refundable deposit of $25 via credit card, PayPal, check, or cash. The registration will not be valid until the deposit has been received by Spells Writing Lab.

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Spells Summer Writing Camp—Week 2

*REGISTRATION FULL—WAIT LIST ONLY*

Monday, July 15–Friday, July 19
9 a.m.– 12:30 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Spells Writing Lab
For ages 7–12

Have you perfected your evil laugh? Hired a sinister henchman? Become a superhero’s nemesis? If so, then you might be nefarious enough to qualify for the Vile League of Villainy. Join us in our secret lair at Spells Writing Lab this summer, as we study all the despicable skills needed to become a true super villain. After assessing our fiendish tendencies, we’ll create suitably unpleasant backstories, develop horribly villainous costumes, and finalize our diabolical plans for world domination. Finally, we’ll document our dishonorable deeds by commandeering our sworn enemies’ favorite propaganda piece, the comic book, and telling the story our way—the villainous way.

Registration is free, but requires a refundable deposit of $25 via credit card, PayPal, check, or cash. The registration will not be valid until the deposit has been received by Spells Writing Lab.

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Spells Summer Writing Camp—Week 1

*REGISTRATION FULL—WAIT LIST ONLY*

Monday, July 8–Friday, July 12
9 a.m.– 12:30 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Spells Writing Lab
For ages 7–12

Have you seen the movies Toy Story, Monsters, Inc, or Up? Are you a fan of Cartoon Network? Animations like these are actually a series of thousands of pictures lined up in order—whether they are hand-drawn, taken with a camera, or made on a computer. There’s no need to be an expert illustrator, since you can even animate a stick figure drawing. Join us at Spells as we learn the techniques of top-notch animators and make our own animated stories!

Registration is free, but requires a refundable deposit of $25 via credit card, PayPal, check, or cash. The registration will not be valid until the deposit has been received by Spells Writing Lab.

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Saturday, May 4
1:00–3:00 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab, 2526 N. Alder Street
Taught by Liz Encarnacion and Spells Writing Lab
For ages 7–12

Join us one Saturday each month, as we turn our writing center into a mad scientist’s laboratory to perform totally messy, thrilling, and crazy experiments guaranteed to make your mom glad you’re not doing them at her house! In past sessions, we’ve made monster ice cream, held balloon races, used forensic science to solve a crime, and created our own natural disasters. What crazy experiments will we attempt this month? Join us and find out!

 
 

Sunday, April 28
1:30–3:30 p.m.
at the CRED Magazine storefront, 325 South Street
Taught by Amanda Fernandez, Sara Gladwin, and Stacy Lee
For ages 11 and up

Got something to say? Here’s a chance to make your words jump off the page through spoken word poetry! This form is a unique, out-loud performance of poetry that relies not just on the written words, but mostly on the dynamics in the tone used to convey the expression. Combining our superhero theme with the Poetry Month of April, we’ll be focusing on language and expressions surrounding virtue, empowerment and accountability. We’ll have cameras and digital recorders on hand so the moment of your performance (if you so choose) can be relived and remembered!

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Saturday, April 27
2:00–4:00 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab, 2526 N. Alder Street
Taught by Issa Revell
For ages 7–12

BAM! POW! Let’s celebrate Superhero Month at Spells by making comics together! During this Spells workshop, we’ll use our very own superhero personas to create comic books! Who will the characters in your comic book be? What will you do to save the day? How can you combine images with words to create an action-packed story of good vs. evil? We’ll discuss all of these questions and more in this awesome workshop! See you there, superheroes!

 
 

Sunday, April 21
1:30–3:30 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab, 2526 N. Alder Street
Taught by Amanda Fernandez, Sara Gladwin, and Stacy Lee
For ages 7–12

Ever wanted to be a superhero—or a super villain? This is your chance! It’s superhero month at Spells, so celebrate by creating your own extraordinary persona to save (or wreck) the day! As we transform into our amazing alter egos, we’ll be answering questions such as: What special powers do you have?  What’s your “backstory”? What kind of mask (created through face paint) and costume would you design for yourself? And, most important, what would you promise the people—as a candidate for superhero-dom? Come write a story about what kind of superhero you would be—and get a makeover to match!

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Spells Spring Break Writing Camp

Monday, March 25–Friday, March 29
9 a.m.– 12:30 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Spells Writing Lab and CRED Magazine
For ages 7–14

SORRY, NO MORE SPOTS AVAILABLE

It’s crazy to think you can plan, write, and design a magazine in only 5 days . . . but that’s exactly what we’re going to do during this year’s Spells Spring Break Writing Camp!

We’ll get the inside scoop on the magazine business from local magazine writers and editors. Then, working with the staff of CRED Magazine and other expert guests, we’ll plan our own publication—writing feature articles, creating visuals, and designing the layout— all in just one week!

SORRY, REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED.

 

 
 

Saturday,  January 19
1:00–4:00 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab, 2526 N. Alder Street OR at the CRED Magazine storefront, 325 South Street
Taught by Spells Writing Lab and CRED Magazine
For ages 7–13

Spaces are still available—no need to register today, just drop-in and join the workshop!

What are your dreams for the future? World peace? Better food in your school lunch? An exciting career as a real-life superhero?

Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech was an inspiration to millions of people around the world. Help celebrate his legacy by sharing your own hopes and aspirations in writing, then learn how to translate your favorites into a short animation sequence that will be used in a collaborative film project!

This workshop is being produced in collaboration with The Village of Arts and Humanities and CRED Magazine.

We are delighted to be offering this workshop at TWO locations. When registering, please be sure to select the location where your child will be attending.

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Dr. Spells is putting the final touches on several weekend writing workshops for fall, so check this space later this week for the announcement!

 
 

**A few last-minute spots may be available**

Fairy Tale Mashups
Spells Summer Writing Camp—Week 6

Monday, August 13–Friday, August 17
9 a.m.– 12:30 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Spells Writing Lab, with guest instructors
For ages 7–14

Dr. Spells is planning to premiere a new play about fractured fairy tales this August on the outdoor stage in Ile Ife Park, in front of Spells Writing Lab. But there’s a problem—the play hasn’t been written yet! Join Spells as we learn the basics of playwriting, then work together to write the script, create the backdrops and props, and perform this new theatrical work, all in one week! These aren’t your average fairy tales, and with Dr. Spells around, who knows what kinds of other creatures might make their way into our story?

Registration is free, but requires a refundable deposit of $25 via credit card, PayPal, check, or cash. The registration will not be valid until the deposit has been received and the registration is confirmed by Spells Writing Lab.

 
 

**A few last-minute spots may be available.**

Dead Men Draw No Tales
Spells Summer Writing Camp—Week 5

Monday, August 6–Friday, August 10
9 a.m.– 12:30 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Spells Writing Lab, with guest instructors
For ages 7–14

Ahoy, mateys! Be ye a landlubber that dreams of sailing under the Jolly Roger? Join the sea dogs of Spells as we plunder pieces of eight, write sea shanties, and get a crash course in pirates—from bilge rats to hornswagglers to scurvy. Then share yer swashbuckling tales with pictures and words as ye create graphic novels about yer seafaring adventures. But avast, me hearties! Act smartly, lest ye be forced to walk the plank.

Registration is free, but requires a refundable deposit of $25 via credit card, PayPal, check, or cash. The registration will not be valid until the deposit has been received and the registration is confirmed by Spells Writing Lab.

 
 

**A few last-minute spots may be available.**

Spells Summer Writing Camp—Week 4

Monday, July 30–Friday, August 3
9 a.m.– 12:30 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Spells Writing Lab, with guest instructor Lee Porter
For ages 7–14

Dr. Spells is not only our mysterious founder, he’s also a big-time Hollywood producer—and he wants Spells students to create a TV show for the Internet! With help from a local web series writer and producer, we’ll get a crash course in writing webisodes, those short, serialized TV episodes that live on the Internet, and how they’re different from writing for regular TV or films. Then we’ll create our own web series, from writing scripts to premiering online, in record time—just one week!

Registration is free, but requires a refundable deposit of $25 via credit card, PayPal, check, or cash. The registration will not be valid until the deposit has been received and the registration is confirmed by Spells Writing Lab.

 
 

**A few last-minute spots may be available**

Spells Summer Writing Camp—Week 3

Monday, July 23–Friday, July 27
9 a.m.– 12:30 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Spells Writing Lab, with guest instructors
For ages 7–14

Calling all Spells detectives! Spells Writing Lab has become a crime scene—can you help us solve this whodunit? Our junior detectives will also experiment with forensic science and other investigative techniques as we narrow down the suspects. While we search for evidence at Spells, we’ll also learn about the elements of a good mystery story, from creating a strong sleuth and secondary characters to setting up the central puzzle and revealing clues. How will the story end? Will we solve the mystery in time, or will the guilty party escape detection?

Registration is free, but requires a refundable deposit of $25 via credit card, PayPal, check, or cash. The registration will not be valid until the deposit has been received and the registration is confirmed by Spells Writing Lab.

 
 

**registration and waiting list are full—no additional waiting list registrations will be accepted**

The Spells Travel Guide to Philly
Spells Summer Writing Camp—Week 2

Monday, July 16–Friday, July 20
9 a.m.– 5 p.m. **Note: longer hours than other weeks**
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Spells Writing Lab, with guest instructors Johnica Reed and Caroline Tiger
For ages 7–14

Are you a jet-setter? Do you have strong opinions about the best places to have fun in Philly? Join Spells for this special full-day camp week as we break into small groups for whirlwind sightseeing tours of major museums and landmarks, exploring our city through the eyes of a visiting tourist. In the afternoons, we’ll work with professional travel writers and Spells lab assistants to assess our experiences and write recommendations for both out-of-towners and locals enjoying a stay-cation. Help us write the ultimate kids’ travel guide to Philadelphia!

Campers should bring a bag lunch each day during this camp week. Snacks and beverages will be provided by Spells.

Registration is free, but requires a refundable deposit of $25 via credit card, PayPal, check, or cash. The registration will not be valid until the deposit has been received and the registration is confirmed by Spells Writing Lab.

 
 

*registration currently full—waiting list only**

Spells Summer Writing Camp—Week 1

Monday, July 9–Friday, July 13
9 a.m.– 12:30 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Spells Writing Lab, with guest instructors
For ages 7–14

Howdy, partner! Time travel with Spells to the days of the Old West, when cowboys ate food from the chuckwagon after a long trail ride and gunslingers fought with bounty hunters at high noon. Learn a bit about the American frontier and study some of the great films and stories about that time to figure out what makes westerns so special. Then create your own cowboy characters, bringing them to life through poetry, songs, stories, and short films. Dust off your cowboy boots and spurs, and join us for this week of western fun!

Registration is free, but requires a refundable deposit of $25 via credit card, PayPal, check, or cash. The registration will not be valid until the deposit has been received and the registration is confirmed by Spells Writing Lab.

 
 

Saturday,  May 26
1:00–4:00 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Faith Konate
For ages 7–13

Once upon a time, there were wizards and princesses, mermaids and knights. They all worked together, living stories worth telling. Join as an apprentice story teller and work together with your fellow apprentices to weave a story of your own. Then, using the magical inventions of electronics, stop-motion animation and Lego, awaken your story! Join royals and mythical creatures to defeat the perils of story-boarding and animation!

No costume required.

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Saturday,  May 5
1:00–3:00 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Connor McNamara
For ages 7–13

Scientists recently discovered a mysterious egg that doesn’t seem to belong to any animal species they know of. They can’t figure out what it will hatch into, but they can tell it’s going to hatch soon. A leading research team turns to you for help. Will it be a bird, a fish, a land animal? Will it even be from Earth? What does it eat? How does it behave? Learn about common animal behaviors, then decide how your unique creature is going to act, and what kind of adventures you’ll go on once it hatches!

 
 

Saturday, April 28
1:00–3:00 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by John Encarnacion
For ages 7–13

Are you ready to enter the squared circle and be the next professional wrestling superstar? Becoming a superstar isn’t just about your ability in the ring—you need to be able to “get over” and entertain the crowd with your microphone work to make it big. In this workshop, you’ll learn how to develop your wrestling persona—either a crowd-favorite “face” or a villain “heel.” Develop a backstory for your character, and then work on writing and performing a filmed promotional monologue. Do you have what it takes to be a champion?

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Saturdays, April 14 & 21
1:00–3:00 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Elizabeth Encarnacion
For ages 7–13

You’ve been recruited to go undercover with Spells Writing Lab for this special two-session version of our popular spy school. After an intensive two days of training by our operatives, you’ll have the skills you need to become a secret agent. Create your cover story, gather some pocket litter, and become a master of disguise. Learn the art of cryptography so you can send and decipher encoded messages. Then write fictionalized accounts of your most mysterious adventures. Do you have what it takes to be a master spy?

Register Now

 
 

Spells Spring Break Writing Camp

Monday, April 2–Friday, April 6
9 a.m.– 12:30 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Spells Writing Lab
For ages 7–14

This spring break, we’re letting our fingers do the talking! Join Spells for a week of hands-on learning as we write and produce short films starring finger puppets! After learning how to create an entertaining script, we’ll craft characters and prepare background scenery before filming and editing our short films. This workshop is hands down the best way to spend your spring break!

Register Now

 
 

Saturday, March 31
1:00–4:00 p.m.
at Moore College of Art & Design, Room 206
20th Street and the Parkway
Taught by Cara Lawler and AIGA Philadelphia Graphic Design Students
Ages 7–13

Do you love your neighborhood? What’s your favorite place, building, park, or person where you live? Is there something unique about your home? We believe there’s something special about all the communities that make up Philadelphia. No matter what the size or location, we all feel a sense of pride and love for our neighborhood.

Spells Writing Lab is partnering with AIGA Philadelphia for the third time to celebrate the special neighborhoods of our city. AIGA Philadelphia is a local organization comprised of creatives such as graphic designers, illustrators, educators, etc. Under the guidance of graphic design college students from around the city, kids will create a collage and supporting poem expressing their love for their home. Emphasis will be placed on successfully expressing ideas through the integration of image and the written word.

During this workshop held at Moore College of Art & Design, participants will have the opportunity to see how professionally trained creatives work. After the workshop, with the help of computers and scanners, graphic design students will work together to design a larger project that features all the pieces created in this workshop.

Register Now

 
 

Saturday, March 24
1:00–3:00 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Elizabeth Encarnacion
For ages 7–13

When your parents tell you to eat your veggies because they’re good for you, are they telling the truth? Is calcium the real reason you should drink lots of milk? And what would REALLY happen if you didn’t brush your hair? Have you ever suspected that grown-ups are part of a vast conspiracy in which they tell you fake reasons for following the rules because they don’t think kids can handle the truth? If so, come to this top-secret workshop, where we’ll uncover the real stories behind the lies our parents tell us. But shhhhhh… don’t let them know we’re spilling the beans, or they’ll try to stop u………………………………

Register Now

 
 

Saturday, March 17
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Alexa Peluso
For ages 7–13

Greetings, earthlings from Planet Spells! Come along with us as we take our Spells students to a distant galaxy on a creative writing voyage. We’ll explore the extraterrestrial worlds of our imaginations on a far-out adventure through the cosmos. Will the ground be made of marshmallows? Will elephants do the tango? The sky will be no limit for the fun we have in store!

Register Now

 
 

Saturday, March 10
2–3:30 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Spells Writing Lab
For ages 7–13

Join us one Saturday each month, as we turn our writing center into a mad scientist’s laboratory to perform totally messy, thrilling, and crazy experiments guaranteed to make your mom glad you’re not doing them at her house! In past sessions, we’ve made monster ice cream, held balloon races, used forensic science to solve a crime, and created our own natural disasters. What crazy experiments will we attempt this month? Join us and find out!

Register Now

 
 

Saturday, March 3
1–3 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Liz Encarnacion
For ages 6–12

This March, we’re celebrating the birthday of Theodor Geisel—as well as the 75th anniversary of his first published book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street—with a superbly Seussical writing workshop at Spells! Join us as we put on our red-striped hats, appreciate the master’s words, and create some silly stories and rambunctious rhymes of our own. It’ll be a birthday celebration to remember!

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Saturday, December 17
11–12:30 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Spells Writing Lab
For ages 7–13

Join us one Saturday each month, as we turn our writing center into a mad scientist’s laboratory to perform totally messy, thrilling, and crazy experiments guaranteed to make your mom glad you’re not doing them at her house! In past sessions, we’ve made monster ice cream, held balloon races, turned milk into curds and whey, and made plastic gloves come to life. What crazy experiments will we attempt this month? Join us and find out!

Register Now

 
 

Saturday, November 19
11–12:30 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Spells Writing Lab
For ages 7–13

Join us one Saturday each month, as we turn our writing center into a mad scientist’s laboratory to perform totally messy, thrilling, and crazy experiments guaranteed to make your mom glad you’re not doing them at her house! In past sessions, we’ve made monster ice cream, held balloon races, turned milk into curds and whey, and made plastic gloves come to life. What crazy experiments will we attempt this month? Join us and find out!

Register Now

 
 

Saturday, October 29
11–12:30 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Spells Writing Lab
For ages 7–13

Join us one Saturday each month, as we turn our writing center into a mad scientist’s laboratory to perform totally messy, thrilling, and crazy experiments guaranteed to make your mom glad you’re not doing them at her house! In past sessions, we’ve made monster ice cream, held balloon races, turned milk into curds and whey, and made plastic gloves come to life. What crazy experiments will we attempt this month? Join us and find out!

Register Now

 
 

Saturdays, October 15–November 19 and December 3
2:00–3:30 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Christina Rose Dubb, M.Ed., with filmmaker Tigre Hill
For ages 11 and up

Your Words. Your Photos. Your Film. Your Voice.

You have something important to say. Whether it’s about your school, your family, your neighborhood, or your identity, you have a story that other people should hear. With our help, learn how to share your story in a dynamic way!

During this free six-week workshop, you will create a 3–5 minute Digital Story—a short, first-person video narrative created by combining recorded voice, still and moving images, and music or other sounds. We’ll supply tokens for public transportation, provide video and still cameras to capture your observations, and help you use multimedia software to bring your vision to life. All you need to bring is you—your thoughts, your personality, and your creativity!

Register Now

 
 

Spells Summer Writing Camp—Week 6

Monday, August 8–Friday, August 12
9 a.m.– 12:30 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Spells Writing Lab, with guest instructors
For ages 7–14

Dr. Spells is not only our mysterious founder, he’s also a big-time Hollywood producer. After the success of our first short film, “Super Horse,” he’s ready to commission a new movie from his favorite screenwriters, the students of Spells. Join us for this crash course in filmmaking from green light to popcorn, as we brainstorm ideas, write a screenplay, shoot the movie, and premiere it—all in one week!

Registration is free, but requires a refundable deposit of $25 via credit card, PayPal, check, or cash. The registration will not be valid until the deposit has been received by Spells Writing Lab.

 
 

Spells Summer Writing Camp—Week 5

Monday, August 1–Friday, August 5
9 a.m.– 12:30 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Spells Writing Lab, with guest instructors
For ages 7–14

For one week only this summer, Spells is transforming its lab into a recipe test kitchen, and you’re the chef! We’ll learn how a cookbook author comes up with recipe ideas, cook and sample our dishes, and write our recipes so readers can recreate our meals at home. By the end of the week, we’ll have a cookbook full of rockin’ recipes for no-cook snacks, healthy smoothies, and simple entrees for the whole family to enjoy!

Registration is free, but requires a refundable deposit of $25 via credit card, PayPal, check, or cash. The registration will not be valid until the deposit has been received by Spells Writing Lab.

 
 

Spells Summer Writing Camp—Week 4

Monday, July 25–Friday, July 29
9 a.m.– 12:30 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Spells Writing Lab, with guest instructors Josh Berk, author of The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin, and author Teresa Bonaddio
For ages 7–14

You’ve been recruited to go undercover with Spells Writing Lab for this special one-week Spy School. After an intensive week of training by our operatives, you’ll have the skills you need to become a secret agent. Create your cover story, gather some pocket litter, and become a master of disguise. Learn the art of cryptography so you can send and decipher encoded messages. Then write fictionalized accounts of your most mysterious adventures. Do you have what it takes to be a master spy?

Registration is free, but requires a refundable deposit of $25 via credit card, PayPal, check, or cash. The registration will not be valid until the deposit has been received by Spells Writing Lab.

 
 

Spells Summer Writing Camp—Week 3

Monday, July 18–Friday, July 22
9 a.m.– 12:30 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Spells Writing Lab, with guest instructors
For ages 7–14

Are you quick with a quip? Always cracking jokes? Fooling around and making people laugh? Then you might have what it takes to be a stand-up comedian. During this week of side-splitting laughs, we’ll try our hands at writing different types of rib-ticklers, from knock-knock jokes to riddles to funny stories. We’ll also work on our delivery to make our jokes extra hilarious, and tell them on stage at the end of the week. Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the Spells Comedy Academy!

Registration is free, but requires a refundable deposit of $25 via credit card, PayPal, check, or cash. The registration will not be valid until the deposit has been received by Spells Writing Lab.

 
 

Spells Summer Writing Camp—Week 2

Monday, July 11–Friday, July 15
9 a.m.– 12:30 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Spells Writing Lab, with guest instructors
For ages 7–14

Our mysterious founder, Dr. Benjamin Franklin Spells, is a writer, publisher, inventor—and avid adventurer! Join us for this exciting week, as we recreate some of his wildest exploits and find creative solutions for escaping certain death or dismemberment. The Spells Adventurers will be traveling the globe (in our minds) to complete team challenges, craft amazing inventions with simple stuff, and transcribe the stories of our founder’s fantastic feats for future generations.

Registration is free, but requires a refundable deposit of $25 via credit card, PayPal, check, or cash. The registration will not be valid until the deposit has been received by Spells Writing Lab.

 
 

Spells Summer Writing Camp—Week 1

Tuesday, July 5–Friday, July 8
9 a.m.– 12:30 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Spells Writing Lab, with guest instructor John Alsace, producer/songwriter
For ages 7–14

You love music (we know you do) but have you ever tried writing your own song? Have you dreamed of standing on a massive stage in the limelight and singing to the world? Well we have a stage, some light, and possibly even some limes, and we can teach you some of the tools you’ll need to write a song of your very own. Throughout the week, you’ll work with professional singer/songwriters, learn about rhymes, beats, and melodies, and perform your Grammy-worthy hit on stage at the end of camp!

Registration is free, but requires a refundable deposit of $25 via credit card, PayPal, check, or cash. The registration will not be valid until the deposit has been received by Spells Writing Lab.

 
 

Monday, June 27 and Tuesday, June 28
12:30–2:00 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Ben Heidengren
For ages 7–12

Poetry is everywhere, from pop, to hip-hop, to rap, to spoken word. People use it to express themselves or to send a message. This two-day workshop will help you get your feet wet in the awesome world of poetry. You’ll learn about rhymes, rhythms, beats, and forms, and by the end of the workshop, you will have your very own poem in a brand new Spells anthology book.

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Saturday, June 25
11–12:30 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Grey Shenk
For ages 7–12

Join us one Saturday each month, as we turn our writing center into a mad scientist’s laboratory to perform totally messy, thrilling, and crazy experiments guaranteed to make your mom glad you’re not doing them at her house! In past sessions, we’ve made monster ice cream, held balloon races, turned milk into curds and whey, and made plastic gloves come to life. What crazy experiments will we attempt this month? Join us and find out!

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Saturday, May 21
1 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Annette Allen
For ages 7–12

Sometimes the art in storybooks interests us more than the story! Learn to create stories and tales completely out of pictures. Join us and retell your favorite fairytales with your own drawings, or create a story all your own and take it home to share with family and friends. This workshop focuses on communication and expression through art.

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Monday, April 18–Thursday, April 21
9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Liz Encarnacion and Spells Writing Lab
For ages 7–12

Sticking close to home for Spring Break this year? Get a tantalizing taste of our summer programming with this special one-week day camp at Spells Writing Lab that’s perfect for animal lovers.

Each morning we’ll transform into Animal Explorers, seeking out local fauna in the green spaces around Spells, writing shaped poetry and animal tales, and discovering our own imaginary creatures while on safari. With special animal guests and plenty of critter creativity, this camp is sure to delight!

Note: all students will be required to have an animal waiver signed by a parent or guardian before participating in this workshop.

Register Now*

*This camp week has a minimum enrollment of 10 students. If the minimum enrollment is not reached by April 12, the Spring Break camp will be canceled.

 
 

Saturday, April 16
1–2:30 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Liz Encarnacion and Spells Writing Lab
For ages 7–12

Join us one Saturday each month, as we turn our writing center into a mad scientist’s laboratory to perform totally messy, thrilling, and crazy experiments guaranteed to make your mom glad you’re not doing them at her house! In past sessions, we’ve made monster ice cream, held balloon races, turned milk into curds and whey, and made plastic gloves come to life. What crazy experiments will we attempt this month? Join us and find out!

Register Now

 
 

Saturday, April 2 and Saturday, April 9
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Emilie Haertsch and Jen Danifo
For ages 7–12

Do you want to be an ace reporter? Come to this workshop to learn how to interview and profile a pal! Brainstorm interesting questions, practice your interviewing techniques, and write a feature story about another student. You’ll go home with your very own profile that someone has written about you!

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Saturday, March 19 and Saturday, March 26
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Maggie Leoffler and Frankie Santoni
For ages 7–12

Do you like comic books and graphic novels? Then join us at Spells for a Mad Libs-style graphic novel workshop! Learn plot pacing, dialogue, and illustration techniques while working on your writing skills and having a blast. We will be using a fun and inventive template as a springboard to writing and illustrating our own short graphic novel, and the results are bound to be wacky!

 
 

Saturday, February 26
1:00–4:00 p.m.
at Moore College of Art & Design
20th Street and the Parkway, Room 206
Taught by Spells Writing Lab and AIGA Philadelphia Graphic Design Students
Ages 8–12

Do you love your neighborhood? What’s your favorite place, building, park, or person where you live? Is there something unique about your home? We believe there’s something special about all the communities that make up Philadelphia. No matter what the size or location, we all feel a sense of pride and love for our neighborhood.

Spells Writing Lab is partnering with AIGA Philadelphia to celebrate the special neighborhoods of our city. AIGA Philadelphia is a local organization comprised of creatives such as graphic designers, illustrators, educators, etc. Under the guidance of graphic design college students from around the city, kids will create a collage and supporting poem expressing their love for their home. Emphasis will be placed on successfully expressing ideas through the integration of image and the written word.

Held at Moore College of Art & Design, participants will have the opportunity to see how professionally trained creatives work. After the workshop, with the help of computers and scanners, graphic design students will work together to design a larger project that features all the pieces created in this workshop.

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Saturday, December 18
1–2:30 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Chloe Tomlinson and Spells Writing Lab
For ages 7–12

Join us one Saturday each month, as we turn our writing center into a mad scientist’s laboratory to perform totally messy, thrilling, and crazy experiments guaranteed to make your mom glad you’re not doing them at her house! In past sessions, we’ve made monster ice cream, used a magnet to pull the iron out of cereal, turned milk into curds and whey, and made gloves come to life. What crazy experiments will we attempt this month? Join us and find out!

Register Now

 
 

Sunday, December 12
1:30–3:00 p.m.
at The Gallery at Market East, Gallery I, 2nd floor next to Kicks USA
Taught by Maggie Leoffler
Ages 7–12

Have you ever thought about what crazy things could happen if you gave an animal a treat? The answer might be more than a little surprising! In this writing workshop based on Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond’s popular If You Give A Mouse A Cookie series, we will explore how small actions can lead to zany consequences, and how an everyday situation can turn disastrous—or hilarious! Taking place at the Gallery at Market East, this is a perfect opportunity for parents to get some holiday shopping done without the kids. And, as a special treat after the workshop, participants are invited to help paint the “How Philly Moves” mural, which is being installed next spring on the exterior of the airport.

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Saturday, December 11
1–2:30 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Caroline Tiger and Chloe Tomlinson
Ages 7–12

Spells Writing Lab is transforming from a laboratory into a travel agency . . . with tickets to your favorite fictional places! Bring along a favorite book (or think of a movie) with an exciting setting and create your very own travel guide for that location. We’ll help you brainstorm where to stay, restaurants for dining, and the can’t-miss sights everyone should see at this imaginary destination. In the end we will compile the Ultimate Travel Guide to Imaginary Places with all of the locales.

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Sunday, December 5
2–3:30 p.m.
at 1500 Walnut Street, 2nd floor (entrance on 15th Street)
Taught by Chloe Tomlinson
Ages 7–12

Are you trying to avoid taking a test at school?  Trying to find a reason to get out of gym class? Forget to finish your homework, but you’ve already used “My dog ate it”? Taking inspiration from the book Dear Teacher by Amy Husband, we’ll imagine incredibly convincing explanations and craft extraordinary excuse notes that are way more creative than your average doctor’s note. We can’t guarantee that these adventurous accounts will result in an excused absence, but we’re sure your teacher will have fun reading them!

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Saturday, December 4
1–2:30 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Frankie Santoni
Ages 7–12

You’ve probably written stories about your pets. But have you ever written stories FOR them? In this wild workshop, we’ll brainstorm what kinds of stories our furred, feathered, and scaly friends would enjoy listening to and create them! For example, we have it on good authority that dogs love tales about treats, chasing things, and bravely scaring off dastardly intruders like the recycling bin. What does YOUR pet want to read about?

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Saturday, November 20
1–3 p.m.
at The Painted Bride Art Center, 230 Vine Street
Taught by Spells Writing Lab
For all ages

Join Spells Writing Lab for a writing activity that involves the whole family!  After touring the First Person Museum at the Painted Bride, a ”museum of the people” to exhibit the meaningful stories behind the objects we treasure in our lives, your family will have the opportunity to tell your own stories about your meaningful objects.  Please bring an object (or photograph) that has a particularly special meaning for your family and participate in our own Show and Tell and Write activity.  You will leave the workshop with a collaborative piece of writing that will make the whole family proud!

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Saturday, November 13
1–2:30 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Spells Writing Lab
For ages 7–12

Register Now

 
 

2 Sunday classes: November 7 & 14
1–3 p.m.
Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Erec Smith and students from Ursinus College
For high school students

Whether you already have started a draft or you’re just beginning the process, join Spells Writing Lab and current college students from Ursinus College for a two-week session that will set you on the right track. The workshop will provide you with general preparation for the college application writing process and allow you to work in small groups and one-on-one with current college students who will help you with your writing!  Class limited to 10 students.

Register Now

 
 

Saturday, November 6
1–2:30 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Angelina Sciolla
For ages 7–12

Just because there are a lot of words doesn’t mean it’s good—a story, that is. Learn the basic ingredients for a story and then tell one in as few words as possible. Can you give us the beginning, middle, and end in 10 words or less? 5 words?! Use your imagination and your wizardry with words to create super-short stories. Prizes will be awarded to the storytellers who can compose the shortest story possible.

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5 Saturday classes: November 6, 13, 20; December 4, 11
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Kia Gregory
For ages 13 and up

A picture is worth a thousand works. For famed photographer Gordon Parks, whether it’s a photograph of a worker holding a mop, or of famed boxer Muhammad Ali sweating during a workout, his images told memorable tales. Narrative journalism should also paint a vivid image. What does rain sound like? What does your mom’s kitchen smell like? What color is the neighbor’s cat? Details take the reader on a ride, and make for good stories. We will use some of Park’s most famous photos for inspiration, take our own photos and write short features based on what we captured.
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2 Saturday classes: November 6 & 13
3–5 p.m.
Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Erec Smith and students from Ursinus College
For high school students

Whether you already have started a draft or you’re just beginning the process, join Spells Writing Lab and current college students from Ursinus College for a two-week session that will set you on the right track. The workshop will provide you with general preparation for the college application writing process and allow you to work in small groups and one-on-one with current college students who will help you with your writing!  Class limited to 10 students.

Register Now

 
 

Saturday, October 23
1–2:30 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Angelina Sciolla
For ages 8–12

They can be scary, ugly, funny, and gross. But do you really know what it’s like to be a monster? It’s not easy. Explore what life is like for your favorite creature. Use your imagination to create a whole life for your monster that didn’t exist before. Does he have monster friends? What does a monster do when she’s not scaring people? Write the untold story of monsters and maybe even help them change their monster ways.

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Saturday, October 16
1–2:30 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Spells Writing Lab
For ages 7–12

Join us one Saturday each month, as we turn our writing lab into a mad science lab to perform totally messy, thrilling, and crazy experiments guaranteed to make your mom glad you’re not doing them at her house. We’ll even do a little writing, since even mad scientists need to keep track of what they’re doing and whether their efforts were successful.
Register Now

 
 

Monday, October 11, 2010
3:30–5 p.m.
at Spells Writing Lab
Taught by Elizabeth Encarnacion
For ages 7–13

When your parents tell you to eat your veggies because they’re good for you, are they telling the truth? Is calcium the real reason you should drink lots of milk? And what would REALLY happen if you didn’t brush your hair? Have you ever suspected that grown-ups are part of a vast consipiracy in which they tell you fake reasons for following the rules because they don’t think kids can handle the truth? If so, come to this top-secret workshop, where we’ll uncover the real stories behind the lies our parents tell us. But shhhhhh… don’t let them know we’re spilling the beans, or they’ll try to stop u………………………………

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Saturday, October 9
1–3 p.m.
at The Painted Bride Art Center, 230 Vine Street
Taught by Spells Writing Lab
For all ages

Mary DeWitt’s Pardon Me is a retrospective exhibition of over 20-years of portraits of woman sentenced to life without parole in Pennsylvania. DeWitt has returned to this portrait series throughout the years using various formats for her work: tile murals, large canvasses, reverse glass paintings, and most recently a video of her reverse glass portraits painting process with narrative and the women’s voices. DeWitt’s paintings are powerfully expressive images of incarcerated women who gaze directly at the viewer. She intends for us to consider the person first – apart from her circumstances – and to bring visibility to each woman’s life.

After touring the exhibition, we’ll brainstorm what it would be like to arrive back into society after many years away—whether after traveling to space, living in an isolated community, or hiding out underground. On Demand TV, the power of the internet, iPhones and Kindles—what would YOU make of all these innovations? We’ll explore these questions and imagine what we might find 20 years from now if we suddenly arrived on the planet.

Register Now