Writers Week XXVI returns with new faces, old favorites


Graphic by Kelly Wang

Kelly Wang, Staff Writer

Being a published author isn’t an experience every high school student can have, but Fremd High School presents its students with an opportunity to share their written work through Writers Week. Having been a tradition at Fremd since 1995, 2020 will mark Writers Week’s 26th year, occurring during the last week of January (27-31). Each year, presenters from across the country, as well as Fremd students and staff, are invited to share prose, poetry, music, and art.

English teacher and Writers Week sponsor Gina Enk shares what she looks forward to the most at Writers Week.

“Student periods are always very popular,” Enk  said. “Generally, I think it’s just the feeling in the school that beings a little excitement to our January of this year.”

English teacher and Writers Week sponsor Russell Anderson speaks of the new presenters who have been invited for Writers Week XXVI. 

“We have somebody named Matt Muse, who is a rapper and writer from Chicago and works with a group called Young Chicago Authors,” Anderson said. “We also have writer named Megan Stielstra who is an educator teaching at Northwestern University, so we’re excited to have her for the first time. There’ll also be an author, Mark Oshiro, who had a book come out called Anger is a Gift. We have a former student, whose named is Becca Nix Tam, who graduated in 2012, who is an author and a stand-up comic.”

While new presenters are welcome to join the Writers Week family, there have been many performers who make reappearances year after year. 

“A writer from Chicago is Kevin Coval, who will be at Writers Week for the third time, and Mary Fons was here last year,” Anderson said. “We have some people who’ve taken some time off, like a couple musicians – Kevin Prchal and then J.C. Brooks – who haven’t been here for about 4 years. We also have one of our headliners, Naomi Shihab Nye, who hasn’t been to Fremd since 2002, so she’s coming back after a 17-year break and we’re really excited about that.”

Because of busy schedules, these said reappearances may not occur too often. However, there is one aspect of Writers Week that never changes: FANBOYS. A band consisting of Fremd faculty, FANBOYS gathers Fremd students and staff during the Friday of Writers Week, singing song parodies that are relatable for the typical Fremd student.

“I remember there was this one year when we only talked about forming a band,” Anderson recalls. “FANBOYS started off as a fake band, and we didn’t think it’d turn into something real but then it crazily did.”

Although only performing during two periods of the day, FANBOYS is usually one of the most popular performances throughout Writers Week. FANBOYS performs a variety of songs, and this applies to inviting presenters as well. 

“We try to get a variety of presenters – a variety of genres and backgrounds,” Anderson said. “We hope that there’s somebody in the line up this year that students are going to love.”