Jabari Dawson, an 11th grader at Thomson High School, has been selected to attend the Zora Neale Hurston/ Richard Wright Foundation annual writers' week summer workshop for black writers.
It is the nation's only multi-genre summer writer's workshop for writers of African descent with a tuition-free component for high school students. The workshop was held on the campus of American University in Washington, D.C. from July 16-22. To participate, writer's had to submit an application along with samples of their work. The high school students also needed a letter of recommendation from a teacher.
Thomson High school's librarian Tammy Kaye Brunson, who is familiar with Dawson's writings, provided him with a letter of recommendation. Diane Bolden, a teacher at Thomson High, was essential to Dawson's trip to Washington also.
The week brings together black writers from around the United States as well as black writers from the Caribbean, Africa, and Europe, to discuss their work, its meaning and unique aesthetics. Hurston/Wright writers' week is distinguished by the writers it attracts- published, unpublished, college students, high school students, and professionals. Dawson was one of only 12 high school students chosen in the United States to receive a full Hurston/Wright Scholarship to attend the workshop at American University.
All workshop instructors are published authors. The week included workshops on fiction, memoirs, creative writing and poetry. The high school's instructor was Kenny Carroll, an author and creative writing teacher at Duke Ellington School of Arts. The participants were all given a guided tour of historical Washington D.C.
Dawson is the son of Jesse and Bette Dawson of Thomson.