Hearing from the Student Writers of Aerie Literary Voices
January 4, 2023
Aerie Literary Voices, the writers’ journal of Wheeler’s enrichment program, features student poems, short stories, essays, screenwriting, and long-form fiction. “My approach is to allow students to address the things in their lives that really matter to them, to tap into their creativity and write,” says Aerie Writer-in-Residence Robert Koppel.
In addition to their pieces appearing in print, what makes Aerie Literary Voices even more special is that it truly lives up to its name and allows us to hear the voices of the student writers, as they read their works on Wheeler’s radio station, WELH.
In the journal’s most recent radio episode, Fredy N. ’24 takes the reader (and listener) into his world through “Rhody from Rhody,” a piece of realistic fiction based on his life and ideas collected during this past summer. “I appreciate Aerie Literary Voices because it gives me an outlet to write my work on radio and learn the formatting of screenplays and stageplays,” he says. “If I never was in Aerie Literary Voices, I’d never truly find my voice that can reach an audience that is not just my friends and family.”
The journal’s Co-Editor Samantha F. ’23 also looked to her summer experiences for inspiration for her poems and short stories. “I wrote a fantasy piece for the first time, and I am currently working on a contemporary novella centered around the lives of high school students and the path to figuring out our identities,” shared Samantha. “I have learned a lot about myself through writing and this class has given me the space and environment to continue to grow.”
Fellow Co-Editor Sophia B. ’23 is aiming to advance her writing by asking questions like “How can I push the moral of the story further?” As she explores these questions, Sophia says she appreciates that the Aerie Literary Voice classes are one-on-one. “It really allows there to be a focus on my work and we, Mr. Koppel and I, are able to give it our full attention.”
For Jacquelyn S. ’24, who was named a Gold Medalist in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, this year has been about exploration. “I’ve been experimenting with all kinds of genres, including poetry, satire, fantasy, and contemporary fiction. I don’t focus on a particular theme; however, my ultimate goal with every piece is to write with authenticity, respect every word, and develop my own unique voice.”
You can read the latest Aerie Literary Voices online, and listen to the archived episodes on the Wheeler Student Programming channel on Spotify.