Adrienne Burris How long have you been in Greenville?
Off-and-on for 8 years Most interesting fact about you:
I converted a 1993 school bus into a mobile creative writing lab, with the help of IKEA and Furman sorority girls (APO Forever!). Your background:
Whenever I meet someone new, they ask me where I'm from.
My accent is neutral, what many would call a "TV" voice, and I think people assume I'm another one of those Greenville transplants.
But I am South Carolina-grown, with a big-haired-mother and plenty of farm stories from childhood (ask me about the time my brother pinched off a lizard tail and left it in my room).
When I was younger, I thought this life was totally lame. So boring. Unimportant.
As I grew, however, I realized that our lives are full of the most remarkable small moments, and I appreciated the slow pace of my youth.
I began writing story after story, rooted in the dirt and football games and layer cakes that raised me.
After getting my English degree from Clemson, I worked as a behavior analyst for children with autism and tried to implement storytelling into everything I did. So many children with learning needs feel they aren't worthy, and they believe nobody listens to them.
By creating and sharing stories with thoughtful adults, these young authors' confidence blossomed. I knew it could be something more, so I left Greenville to get my MA Writer/Teacher at Goldsmiths, University of London, and soon founded Greenville Wordsmiths, a non-profit that focuses on empowering young writers.
Sometimes, kids hate writing so much that they start our workshops in tears, or slamming their heads against their desks. But time and time again, through creative programming and 1:1 support, we see children who have previously said "I can't write!" or "This is too hard!" share their ideas and stories with confidence that betrays their years.
I recently did a repeat workshop with a class, and several of the kids pulled old books they had created with us from their backpacks, treasured and loved and dog-eared.
Basically, I just love stories. And I love helping kids (and grown-ups!) find the stories that are waiting to burst forth. Currently reading or watching:
Children of Blood and Bone by Toni Adeyemi Hobby:
Being a regular at every coffee shop in town, and taking long walks to all the neighborhood parks Who do you work for? Greenville Wordsmiths
and the Fine Arts Center How do you think Greenville would describe you in one word?
Quirky How would you describe Greenville in one word?
Vibrant Besides residence, where is your favorite Greenville morning hangout?
The Village Grind Besides residence, where is your favorite Greenville evening hangout?