An Icy History

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In 2002, Jennifer Albritton, legendary English teacher and co-founder of the Tampa Bay

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Jennifer Albritton, Founder

Area Writing Project, founded a younger writers camp.  Enlisting the help of fellow TCs (Teacher Consultants), she modeled a camp after TBAWP’s Summer Institute for writing teachers. It was their vision and goal to create a camp that provided young authors from 3rd to 12th grade a safe environment to write, revise, share and publish their writing. The first campers dubbed the camp I.C.E. – Imaginative, Creative Explorers – and it has been held every summer since at various locations throughout the Tampa Bay Area, growing from one location and 12 campers to six locations and 100+ campers.

In 2008, we began our first expansion. A group of TCs from Pasco county started their own young writers’ camp, and the students there named it F.I.R.E. – Fiercely Imaginative & Remarkably Expressive Writers. Under the leadership of Freda Abercrombie, the camp started small, but continues to grow.

In 2015, I.C.E. Writers joined F.I.R.E. in Pasco, opening a third camp in Trinity.  A fourth camp started that same year by TC Tedra Tatelbaum who took over as director after Jennifer’s passing. That camp, located in St Pete is one of our strongest sites! A fifth camp opened that year as well in Brandon.

In 2017, John Eric Vona took over as director of TBAWP’s Youth Programs and started yet another program: W.I.N.D. – Writers In Need of Direction. W.I.N.D. For ages 16-25, W.I.N.D. is a whole different kind of program designed to catch those “kids” who have outgrown I.C.E. and F.I.R.E. It is held summer nights on the University of South Florida campus.

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In Memorial of Jennifer Albritton, who inspired so many students, young writers and future & fellow educators, lighting us all with the fire of language. You are missed.