Epistolary Master Class with Laphams Quarterly and Mont Blanc!

This years Life Stories Playwrights started off the year with a special epistolary writing Master Class sponsored by Mont Blanc. Students examined the ‘Open Letter to Commodore Vanderbilt’ written by Mark Twain and used it as a framework for their own open letters. Students quickly found antagonists in their life and used Twains sharp language and wits to inform their writing of a letter denouncing their bosses, teachers, school Chancellors and more.

Once the letters entered the drafting stage, the scholars from Laphams Quarterly were kind enough to lend their time to help the students hone their letters. Louis Lapham, Terry McDonnell, Francine Prose and Mont Blanc CEO Jan-Patrick Schmitz workshopped the pieces of writing and the students took away notes to re-write.

Finally, this past Monday, the students came in with their completed works, which they presented to the Master Artist Panel in hopes of winning the prizes-Mont Blanc’s very own Limited Edition Mark Twain writing instrument, a trip to the Mark Twain House and Museum in Connecticut, and the distinction of having the Playwriting program named after them for a year.

The stellar letters read, the four judges deliberated on the 8 contestants. The competition was close; so close in fact, that the judges had to pick two winners. In the end, it was Anthony Naranjo’s piercing letter to the financial powers that be of the United States and Anurahda Golder’s wry epistle to HP Customer Service that became the two winners, both of which you can read below. And thus the Naranjo-Golder Playwriting Program for 2010-2011 kicks off! Our accomplished epistolary experts and upcoming playwrights now begin to draft their short plays, and we look forward to updating you on their progress!