Welcome to Camp

Greetings, writers! Welcome to Camp Write Owl, a virtual camp for writers and storytellers. While the lessons you’ll learn here are geared toward novel writers, many of the topics are applicable to multiple storytelling formats.

This month’s course is Grammar 110. You’ll learn the basics of grammar and punctuation to get you started on your journey to becoming a writer or to help you grow if you’re already a writer.

Each day, except for Saturdays, I’ll post a new lesson for you to learn. The nice thing about this camp being virtual is that you can choose which lessons you want to do and which ones you want to skip based on your own knowledge and talents. On Saturdays, I’ll be doing Q&A’s where I answer your questions about the topics covered earlier in the week.

Below is a list of the topics I’ll be covering.

Week 1: Types of Sentences, Sentence Parts, Parts of Speech

Week 2: Flat Adverbs; Verb Tenses; Agreement; Periods, Exclamation Points, and Question Marks; Commas; Semicolons and Colons

Week 3: Hyphens and Dashes; Parentheses and Quotation Marks; Apostrophes; Italics, Bold, and All Caps; Capitalization; Numbers

Week 4: Filler Words, Filter Words, Dangling Modifiers, Homophones, Confusing Words, Diction

Week 5: Formatting Dialogue, Dialogue Tags, Active vs Passive Voice

If you want to learn more about any of these topics, then you’re in the right place. Grammar is incredibly important for clarity in writing. If you don’t know grammar, your readers could have trouble understanding your writing. Punctuation and word and phrase placement influence the meaning of a sentence. Get the punctuation or placement wrong, and the sentence is misinterpreted.

My name is Jess, and I’ve been writing stories since I could hold a crayon. Over the years I’ve dedicated my free time to reading, writing, and learning craft; so one day I can be a published author.

I’ve always excelled at English classes. I got A’s in all of them, even in college. I started out as a creative writing major, but I don’t like the way creative writing is taught at my alma mater, so I ended up dropping English to a minor. My degree is in anthropology, which is incredibly helpful for worldbuilding. When I was in college, I took classes in grammar, writing fiction, and even novel writing. In addition to my formal education in English, I’ve also mentored with three published authors. I’m part of a writing critique group as well. Some of the members are published, and some aren’t.

Those are my qualifications, and grammar is one of my strongest areas. (My final grade in my college grammar class was 104%.) If you struggle with grammar, don’t be discouraged. I didn’t understand it well until my junior year of high school. My English teacher that year taught grammar so well it finally clicked for me—Thanks, Mrs. Henderson. I hope this course will help you better understand the rules.

Now, in real camps, you meet other campers and bond with them over the course of the camp. Since this is virtual, that’s a little harder to do, but I want to encourage you to do it anyway. If you think you’ll be participating in multiple lessons, let us know who you are in the comments. If you’re willing, tell us why you’re here and what you hope to accomplish from joining Camp Write Owl. I can’t wait to meet you all!

J.L. Weinmeister

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