By: Emma O’Neill-Dietel (J.R. Masterman High School, Grade 9)
Working with PYP at Cliveden has been an incredible experience for me. I now feel that I have a deeper, more personal connection with history, especially the 1700s through late 1800s, which I knew very little about prior to Liberty to go to See. Working with the other young playwrights at Cliveden was my first experience with collaborative writing and I can’t imagine having a better one. I learned so much about my writing style and the benefits of working with others and sharing my work. I also made valuable friendships that I will always cherish.
Through working with Cliveden I have gained a greater respect for history. I have also expaned my knowledge about the time period during which the Chews lived there. I feel a more personal connection with the people and events I learned about and I have a greater interest in that time period. I am able to draw connections between what happened at Cliveden and what I learn about in school which helps me understand history and makes it more interesting.
Liberty to go to See was also an incredible writing experience. I had never collaborated on a play before and I learned a lot about writing and forming ideas as a group. It also helped me see my style as an individual and by reading others’ work I was able to improve upon my writing. I had also never even considered writing historical fiction before and Liberty to go to See was the perfect gateway into the genre.
Through Cliveden I not only learned about writing and history, but I learned about myself. I have always been very shy and never made very many friends at camp. Cliveden was incredibly better. By the beginning of the week-long intensive, I knew everyone by face and felt extremely comfortable. For a week, Cliveden was my home and my fellow young playwrights were my family. I dreaded the end and eagerly anticipated the writing sessions we had every so often once school started. My experience with Cliveden helped me come out of my shell and gave me friends I will always treasure. I wouldn’t trade my time at Cliveden for the world.