Student writers pursue their literary passions at the Greenwich Writers Festival 


Sofia Pye '21

Upper School students gather virtually at the twelfth annual Writers Festival.

Student writers across Fairfield and Westchester counties gathered over Zoom at the twelfth annual Greenwich Writers Festival February 27.  Students and faculty members from Sacred Heart Greenwich, Greenwich Academy, and Brunswick School attended virtual workshops in which they discussed the importance of literary writing.  Students also engaged with guest writers, including poet Ms. Caroline Hagood, fiction writer Ms. Courtney Maum, and non-fiction writer and Sacred Heart Greenwich alumna Ms. Caroline Kitchener ’10. 

Sacred Heart moderator Dr. William Mottolese, Upper School English Teacher and Chair of the English Department, and Dr. Cristina Baptista, Upper School English Teacher, organized aspects of the event in conjunction with student organizers from the three participating schools.  Dr. Mottolese welcomed the opportunity to host a Sacred Heart alumna at the festival.

Ms. Caroline Hagood, Ms. Courtney Maum, and Ms. Caroline Kitchener ’10 spoke at this year’s Writers Festival.  Courtesy of Ceci Duncan ’21

“It is exciting for me that we have a Sacred Heart alumna and former student of mine leading a workshop,” Dr. Mottolese said.  “Caroline Kitchener graduated in 2010 and is already an accomplished writer, including having a book published.  The other two writers are amazing too, and one is a GA alumna.”

Ms. Kitchener is a staff writer for The Lily, a platform for millennial women at The Washington Post, according to  During Ms. Kitchener’s workshop, she shared a PowerPoint on how to interview subjects for investigative reporting.  She then demonstrated analytical skills through interviewing Greenwich Academy senior Emma Wu.

Perspectives Co-Editors-in-Chief, seniors Ceci Duncan and Lianna Amoruso, worked with other student organizers from Greenwich Academy and Brunswick School to plan and promote the event within their respective school communities.  Ceci actively sought ways to encourage students to attend the Writers Festival.  

“As an editor of Perspectives Magazine, I am responsible for attending the planning meetings and advertising the festival to the school,” Ceci said.  “I helped select alumna Caroline Kitchener ’10 as this year’s resident poet.  I also hung Writers Festival posters around the school and am continuously posting about the event on our magazine’s Instagram account.”

Ms. Hagood is an Assistant Professor of Literature, Writing, and Publishing and Director of Undergraduate Writing at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, as well as a Co-Editor at Hanging Loose Press.  Over the last nine years, Ms. Hagood has published three poetry books, Lunatic Speak, Making Maxine’s Baby, and Ways of Looking at a Woman, according to  During Ms. Hagood’s workshop, each student took ten minutes to write about themselves from the perspective of inanimate objects in their homes.  Students then presented their writing to the group and gave feedback on each others’ work. 

Ms. Courtney Maum teaches student writers how to appreciate their literary talents.  Courtesy of Dr. Cristina Baptista

Greenwich Academy alumna Ms. Maum is a founder of the artist residency, The Cabins, and privately coaches writers on how to preserve the mystery and joy of the creative process, according to  During her workshop, Ms. Maum taught students how to speak about their writing and decipher what type of work they want to bring to the literary world.

Ceci commented on the success of this year’s festival, despite the new virtual format.  In each workshop, students creatively connected with professional writers and worked collaboratively with peers.

“When I first attended the festival last year, I loved hearing Emmy Award-winning producer Rob Burnett discuss his writing process and rising poet Maya Popa share her anthology,” Ceci said.  “There was buzzing energy as everyone absorbed their wise words, one that sparked my interest in literature.  Our speakers are always incredibly passionate about writing—whether it be screenwriting, poetry, investigative journalism, or anything in-between—and that sentiment radiates to our audience.”

Featured Image by Sofia Pye ’21