Camps and The CLUB!

We’ve just finished our first two weeks of writing camps and I asked our instructor Soula how it was going.

“I have to say I am so impressed with the students we’ve had. Their ideas are creative, realistic, and intriguing. Their feedback to one another is constructive and positive”, said Soula.

So take a peek at what they’ve been doing the past couple weeks in the room Write Under the Stairs!

All students who take our camp become members of The CLUB Write Under the Stairs. In addition to receiving the cool backpack filled with a bunch of cool writing stuff, The CLUB entitles the students to discounts on future camps and store products.  They also get access to the room Write Under the Stairs for a quiet space to journal and meet other club members.

So register today for our next camp series Creative Writing and Screen Play Writing so you and your friends can get in The CLUB!


Hotel stationery worth over $2 million?

I have a client that enjoys to write handwritten notes to his business colleagues.  He also shared that when he travels (which is weekly!) he uses the hotel stationery to compliment the staff and frequently encloses tips for exceptional service.  However, on a recent trip, he was stunned to realize that the hotel did not offer stationery in the guest rooms.  He was told that may people prefer internet access and the stationery was getting old and faded, so they removed it from the rooms when they remodeled. According to him, this was no “Super 8″, but arguably a 5 star hotel in a very large city on the east coast.

So a few weeks ago he came in to get his very own personalized stationery that he could carry in his briefcase while on the road.  We wouldn’t want that unfortunate experience to keep him from writing now would we?

Today I read an article about a draft of Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone,” selling for over $2 million.  What was most intriguing about the draft to me was that it was written on letterhead stationery from the Roger Smith Hotel in Washington, D.C.  So…maybe…one night…sleepless in Washington, Bob Dylan drafted one of the greatest songs of all time.  Thank you Roger Smith Hotel for providing stationery to your guests.

Like A Rolling Stone Auction-1.jpg

AP Photo/Sotheby’s, File

Who knew those four pieces of hotel stationery would be worth over $2 million? Maybe that should be an incentive to capture your random thoughts when you travel. Just grab a piece of hotel stationery (or reach into your bag for your own personal stash or your journal) and just write. You never know when you’re creating something special…and lasting.

About the Roger Smith Hotel Classic Queen Room
Perfect for a couple, good friends, or the solo traveler, the Classic Queen offers a queen bed or two double beds in a spacious room equipped with a writing desk and other unique furnishings. Enjoy a bit of bedtime reading with one of the many books from our special collection, or kick back with a complimentary movie from our extensive video library.

Room at Roger Smith Hotel


Meet Soula.

Blog Post Intro Pic - Soula - cropped

Hi there! My name is Soula Siegfried and I will be spending my summer here at TT Patton teaching the creative writing camps for 4th-7th graders. If you haven’t already taken a look at the camps, I invite you to read over the descriptions and talk to your kids about how they can expand their creativity at TT Patton this summer!

Here’s a little about me: I am currently a graduate student at Northern Illinois University in the English department studying Literature and Professional Writing. I also teach Rhetoric and Composition (required writing courses for all incoming students) to college freshmen as part of my program. Teaching has been the biggest growth opportunity for me both personally and professionally. I truly enjoy the feeling when I see a student “gets it” and can then reproduce the skills they learn in my class in their other classes and beyond.

I am really excited to be teaching this grade level and these classes for a number of reasons. First, I find it crucially important to student success, in all facets of life, to be able to communicate properly and efficiently. I emphasize to my students that writing skills are necessary for any job they might pursue, no matter their major. I find the same to be true for students of all levels, in part, because writing is an exercise in thinking. And when we can get our kids to think through their ideas on paper through writing, we are helping them to expand both their communication skills and creative abilities.

Secondly, I find that the more we can encourage kids to express themselves creatively and find an outlet where they feel understood, the better off they will be in many areas of their lives. I really want to encourage students of all ages (parents too!) to actually pick up a pen and write on paper. Recent research supports the idea that the tactile experience of ink onto the page is necessary for learning, and activates certain areas of the brain which are not active while doing similar activities, such as typing on a computer to form words. It may be old-fashioned, but I just love the feeling of a pen in hand, scrawling across a page. All of these concepts come together for our students when they learn how to use a fountain pen and decorate a beautiful journal that represents their personal aesthetic.

I am so looking forward to meeting all the students who sign up for our camps and taking this journey together to foster creativity in a fun space at TT Patton. If your child shows interest in writing stories, poetry, or screenplays, sign them up for a camp this summer where they can let their ideas flow. Come “write under the stairs” with us!

Soula received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in English and Rhetoric, with a minor in Creative Writing. She will graduate next spring with her Master’s Degree from NIU. She currently resides in McHenry with her husband, and mutt pup, Benny.