My name is Kristina McBride.

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On Antioch Writers’ Workshop and My Purpose(sss)

In my life, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about my purpose. Being kind to others ranks at the top of that list. As does being a calming presence in this oftentimes crazy world. While connected to the first two, being a good mother, wife, daughter, and friend, are separate and all-encompassing purposes that I am grateful for on a daily basis. Eating chocolate, soaking up every moment of the summer season, and buying new shoes all fall somewhere in line as well. The combination of these things make me me, but I have two additional life purposes that drive much of what I do. I am fortunate to have the chance to utilize both on a regular basis: Writing and Teaching.

I love all aspects of both writing and teaching, the planning, the execution, and the interaction with others (even if the characters are in my head, they certainly feel real). So when I was asked to lead the Young Writer’s program at Antioch Writers’ Workshop 2015, pairing my love of writing with my love of teaching, I was ever so excited. And that excitement only grew as I arrived at the workshop each morning, invited to attend classes myself, learning from great writers like Nikki Giovanni, John Grogan, and Jyotsna Sreenivasan. The whole thing felt magical, like there was a cloud of creativity swirling overhead, powering us all.

But the magic deepened as I got to know my group of teens, as I watched them throw themselves into the spotlight, totally vulnerable, waiting for critique on pieces they had written. It was nothing short of amazing – the writing each of my teens submitted, the respect and kindness each showed the others as they offered critique, and the inspiration that was brought to life within us all. One thing I know for sure is that I will take the lessons I learned from Antioch Writers’ Workshop 2015 and use them for years to come. Even better? I will be back again next year, teaching an afternoon seminar in fiction for adults. Something I have learned in this life: One purpose often leads to another.

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The Young Writers . . . Writing

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John Grogan & Me

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My amazing group of Young Writers

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Me with Sharon Short, the director of AWW

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Two totally amazing, talented, lovely Young Writers on the night of their public reading

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