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Edited by Christopher Simmons, senior news editor


ATLANTA, GA - April 8, 2003 /Send2Press/ -- Wow-Schools.Net has launched a unique plan to solve the growing problem of poor quality writing in American high schools. Over the past several years, polls taken by Public Agenda and Education Week show that employers and college professors believe poor writing skills to be the number one problem of graduating high school seniors.

In 2001, Webdelsol.Com, the largest nonprofit publisher of periodical contemporary literature in the U.S., established Wow-Schools.Net--better known as the "Words Work Network," or "WoW Net"--to promote the highest standard of writing and contemporary literary art to high school students throughout the country, whether they live in inner city, rural, or suburban America, and whether or not they attend public or private institutions.

WoW Net believes that properly controlled and structured competition is the key to motivating students. WoW Net seeks to accomplish its goal by using the Internet to create a national interactive community of high school writing programs and by publishing their student publications. Upon joining WoW Net, students are immersed in a friendly competitive environment. "No organization compares to Words Work," says John Bush, an English teacher at North Gwinnett High School in Georgia whose journal Split Shot is part of the Words Work Network community. "Our students are eager to show the other schools that we can out write them any day of the week!"

Besides organizing the student community and making it work, WoW Net provides a range of needed services for high school programs, including web hosting, promotion, editorial services, artistic guidance, hands-on technical assistance, and whatever else it takes to create and to maintain quality online writing journals, chapbooks, and websites. But this is only a first phase. WoW Net intends to organize and facilitate a long-distance-learning network that will offer writing classes on a weekly basis from nationally recognized authors and poets, as well as bi-monthly live readings of select student work. WoW Net will web cast the readings online to all participating high schools.

WoW Net also sponsors student writing competitions in the categories of essay, short fiction, poetry, drama, screen writing, and creative non-fiction, and plans an annual Words Work Writing Conference that will partner with college writing programs; an online, interactive writing lab staffed by writing mentors and graduate instructors; a hierarchy of categorized and interactive Internet forums that will allow parents, teachers, and students to correspond online and exchange work; and finally, an annual anthology of the best student prose, essays, and poetry.

Assisting WoW Net in these endeavors is an advisory board second to none: Billy Collins, current United States Poet Laureate; Robert Pinsky, former Poet Laureate of the United States; Peter Elbow, distinguished educator and writing theorist; David Bonanno, Editor of The American Poetry Review; Wayne Booth, Literary Critic and Educator; Anne Bowling, Editor of "Novel & Short Story Writer's Market" (Writer's Digest Books); Michelle Herman, Director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Ohio State University; Dawn Raffel, Executive Articles Editor of "O" (The Oprah Magazine); Elizabeth Mills, an editor at "Southwest Review"; Carol Houck Smith, an editor at large at W. W. Norton.

"The prospect of reaching diverse groups of students and mentoring their literary efforts is an exciting one," says Elizabeth Mills, a WoW Net advisory board member. "The positive feedback we've received from the schools, teachers, and students proves this project is needed and will thrive."

For further information contact Michael Neff, The Words Work Network, 2020 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W., Washington, D.C. 20006.


Source of news: The Words Work Network

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