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Our Programs

The Writers' Room at BASA

Our Writers’ Room program is designed to complement and support our students’ speech arts studies, and we offer it as a place for students to explore, develop, and fine-tune their writing skills through a regular writing practice. Like our speech arts curriculum, the writing program is designed to create critical and creative thinkers and life-long engaged learners.

The Writers’ Room at BASA is a space that is dedicated to guided, individual writing, where students work independently but side-by-side their fellow young writers to engage in weekly writing challenges. The Writers’ Room is facilitated at all times by one of our Writers in Residence—professional writers who are excited to share their love of writing with our students! Our Writers in Residence facilitate the weekly writing prompts and offer guidance. They mentor students and model good writing habits, answer questions, and give advice. They also review students’ work and provide feedback and suggestions for improvement, and help the students learn to evaluate their own work as part of their creative and critical-thinking process.

The Writers’ Room works as a drop-in centre, where students will come for each week to write for half an hour and complete writing assignments that challenge different writing skills. The drop-in format is conveniently designed so that students may come on the same day that they have their speech arts BASA classes; students may drop-in for their Writers’ Room time the half an hour before their speech arts class, or the half hour after. Older students may opt into extending their stay each week in the Writers’ Room to an hour, but such an extension should come with the recommendation of their Writer in Residence and with consultation with their private lessons teacher.

Students will learn the writing process—from brainstorming to composition to revision—and through that process acquire a variety of writing skills. Among other things, the writing prompts will teach students essay structure, critical thinking and reflection, and encourage self-discovery through the conventions of nonfiction and fiction writing, in addition to creative engagements with drama writing, and poetry.  

Private Writing Classes

Being able to communicate your ideas effectively in writing is a lifelong skill. Our private writing lessons are designed for students who are motivated to improve their writing skills by giving them the opportunity to delve more deeply into the writing process with guidance from a professional writer. Unlike our popular Writers’ Room, private writing classes are one-on-one, and therefore are well-suited to students who are keen to investigate the writing process with a more intensive, personal approach. Lessons can be tailored to students’ individual needs and interests, strengths and weaknesses, and specific writing goals and projects. The many things students learn in private writing classes include essay and fiction writing, story structure, nonfiction and personal writing, poetry and metaphor, and crafting strong paragraphs. Above all, lessons will encourage students to write clearly and effectively and take ownership over their own ideas. From first draft to revision, we teach students to write creatively and confidently.