Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Using Creative Writing to Explore Ethical Issues: An Educational Partnership

Yesterday, February 5, Indiana Writers' Consortium members presented a workshop at Purdue University Calumet on "Connectivity: How to Write Creatively from Literature--A Fresh Look at The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks." IWC co-sponsored the workshop with The Writing Center at PUC as part of a year-long One Book/One University project in which PUC freshmen read and discuss The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.

Written as creative non-fiction, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks takes the complicated and often boring subjects of cell cultures and scientific research and turns them into a fascinating story about one cell donor and her family. The book explores the ethical issues involved when taking living cells from a donor without her consent and using those cells to produce medical advances that benefit millions.

The IWC workshop looked at using creative writing to explore ethical issues and promote social justice. PUC students attended one of three breakout sessions: Fiction, led by Meggie Tolkland; Creative Non-Fiction, led by Janine Harrison; and Poetry, led by Kathryn Page Camp. The workshop ended with volunteers reading what they wrote during the breakout sessions.

IWC looks forward to partnering with other Indiana organizations to inspire and build a community of creative writers.

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