Kids' Writing Camps

Where we'll play with

structure, plot, genre, and theme.

Every kid already has incredible style,

we'll just nurture it.

The Elements of Harmony ::

Basic Story Writing Classes. 


You can register online, by email, facebook, or phone.

We're also rolling out our Art & Film club. We will watch a quality children’s film, eat pizza, and make art. This is meant to be a chill space for learning and creativity. The movie will run for some time, and the remainder will be for art exploration. 

The Elements of Harmony


Character, Setting, Plot, and Style

For each element there will be different and evolving in-class writing exercises and activities, time for organic art exploration, and the option to share/perform too. Light snacks will be provided. Every class will be different. Writing exercises will vary. All activities will be modified for age. You can register online, by email, facebook, or phone. 

All writing classes are taught by Cathy Borders, the founder of The Republic of Letters and its Program Director. She's also a former coordinator from Geneva Park District's Kid's Zone after-school program. Cathy has an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School in New York and a BA in English Literature from The University of Iowa. She has taught writing to children privately and in after school enrichment programs. 


Character ::


Character, along with setting, plot, and style make up all good writing. This class will discuss what makes a great character from their heads to their hearts to their words. We will talk about what they do/don’t do, how they’re represented, and why we like them. 


Setting ::


Setting, along with character, plot, and style make up all good writing. This class will dive into the world of setting. What makes an interesting and engaging setting? What can we do to make our spaces come alive? 


Plot ::


Plot, along with character, setting, and style make up all good writing. This class will break down how stories move. We will discuss and play with the many ways to unravel movement, build momentum, and create suspense. 

Style :: 


Character, setting, and plot make up all good writing, but none of that matters without style. Style is the most basic and most complex of all the elements of harmony. And while some believe style cannot be taught, it can certainly be lead to, experimented with, and encouraged. In this class we’ll play with all sorts of textures, structures, paces, and spaces. 

Note ::


Children's classes are offered primarily in the summer, but sometimes one will be offered through the school year on a weekend. To be in the know when one is happened, sign up for our email list, or follow us on facebook or instagram.



set·​ting | \ ˈse-tiŋ

1: the manner, position, or direction in which something is set

2: the frame or bed in which a gem is set also : style of mounting

3a: the time, place, and circumstances in which something occurs or develops

b: the time and place of the action of a literary, dramatic, or cinematic work

c: the scenery used in a theatrical or film production

4: the music composed for a text (such as a poem)

5: the articles of tableware for setting a place at table two settings of sterling silver

6: a batch of eggs for incubation



 1. noun

\ ˈplät  \

1a: a small area of planted ground a vegetable plot

b: a small piece of land in a cemetery

c: a measured piece of land : LOT


3: the plan or main story (as of a movie or literary work)

4[ perhaps back-formation from complot ] : a secret plan for accomplishing a usually evil or unlawful end : INTRIGUE

5: a graphic representation (such as a chart)



\ ˈplät  \

plotted; plotting

2. transitive verb

1a: to make a plot, map, or plan of

b: to mark or note on or as if on a map or chart

2: to lay out in plots 

3a: to locate (a point) by means of coordinates

b: to locate (a curve) by plotted points

c: to represent (an equation) by means of a curve so constructed

4: to plan or contrive especially secretly

5: to invent or devise the plot of (something, such as a movie or a literary work)

intransitive verb

1: to form a plot : SCHEME

2: to be located by means of coordinates the data plot at a single point



1. noun

char·​ac·​ter | \ ˈker-ik-tər  , ˈka-rik-\

1a: one of the attributes (see ATTRIBUTE entry 1 sense 1) or features that make up and distinguish an individual This is a side of her character that few people have seen.

b(1): a feature used to separate distinguishable things into categoriesalso : a group or kind so separated advertising of a very primitive character

(2): the aggregate of distinctive qualities characteristic of a breed, strain, or type a wine of great character

(3): the detectable expression of the action of a gene or group of genes

c: the complex of mental and ethical traits marking and often individualizing a person, group, or nation the character of the American people

d: main or essential nature especially as strongly marked and serving to distinguish excess sewage gradually changed the character of the lake

2a: one of the persons of a drama or novel

b: the personality or part which an actor recreates an actress who can create a character convincingly

c: characterization especially in drama or fiction a novelist good in both character and setting

d: PERSONINDIVIDUALa suspicious character

e: a person marked by notable or conspicuous traits quite a character

3: moral excellence and firmness a man of sound character

4a: a graphic symbol (such as a hieroglyph or alphabet letter) used in writing or printing

b: a symbol (such as a letter or number) that represents information mathematical charactersalso : a representation of such a symbol that may be accepted by a computer

c: a magical or astrological emblem



(2): style of writing or printing You know the character to be your brother's?— Shakespeare


f: a conventionalized graphic device placed on an object as an indication of ownership, origin, or relationship

5: REPUTATIONthe scandal has damaged his character and image

6: POSITIONCAPACITYhis character as a town official

7: REFERENCE sense 4b

8: a short literary sketch of the qualities of a social type

in character

: in accord with a person's usual qualities or traits behaving in character

out of character

: not in accord with a person's usual qualities or traits his rudeness was completely out of character

 2. adjective

1: capable of portraying an unusual or eccentric personality often markedly different from the player a character actor

2: requiring or involving the portrayal of an unusual or eccentric personality a character role



charactered; charactering; characters

3. transitive verb






1. noun

\ ˈstī(-ə)l  \


2a: a distinctive manner of expression (as in writing or speech) writes with more attention to style than to contentthe flowery style of 18th century prose

b: a distinctive manner or custom of behaving or conducting oneself the formal style of the courthis style is abrasivealso : a particular mode of living in high style

c: a particular manner or technique by which something is done, created, or performed a unique style of horseback ridingthe classical style of dance


b: GNOMON sense 1b

c: the filiform usually elongated part of the pistil bearing a stigma at its apex — see FLOWER ILLUSTRATION

d: a slender elongated process (such as a bristle) on an animal

4: a distinctive quality, form, or type of something a new dress stylethe Greek style of architecture

5a: the state of being popular : FASHIONclothes that are always in style

b: fashionable elegance

c: beauty, grace, or ease of manner or technique an awkward moment she handled with style

6: a convention with respect to spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and typographic arrangement and display followed in writing or printing


2. verb

styled; styling

transitive verb

1: to call or designate by an identifying term : NAME

2a: to give a particular style to

b: to design, make, or arrange in accord with the prevailing mode


 3. adjective combining form or adverb combining form

: being in the style of a Beaujolais-style wine

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Geneva, Illinois 60134