Woodlawn Writers Corps

The Woodlawn Writers Corps is a collective of nearly 700 elementary, middle, and high school students at Oliver Elementary, Avondale Elementary, Putnam Middle School, and Woodlawn High School. The students in the Corps meet weekly throughout the school year for curriculum-aligned creative writing workshops, during which we explore how poetry and language intersect with history, science, math and the arts. The writing workshops are designed to be challenging and fun, with the main goal of strengthening the students’ writing skills, intensifying their intellectual habits and giving them the creative tools they need to explore and document their worlds. 

At the end of each year of the Woodlawn Writers Corps, the Desert Island Supply Co. publishes a book of student poems and hosts a book launch for students, families, and school staff at our Woodlawn headquarters. All students get published, and all students receive a copy of the anthology. Proceeds from book sales go toward sustaining the Woodlawn Writers Corps.

Order the 2019 anthology, OK SHADOWS
Order the 2018 anthology, PALE SUMMER
Order the 2017 anthology, JELLYFISH IN DISGUISE


The Desert Island Supply Co. offers free after-school workshops, for ages 7-18, in our creative writing space in Woodlawn. Classes run from 4:00-5:30pm, but students may arrive anytime after 3pm to read, write, or get help with homework from our volunteers. Participation in after-school programs requires student registration.

Check out our Fall 2019 after-school schedule below for more information, and register through the link provided next to each workshop description.


Comic Lab

September 9th-October 7th.

In Comic Lab, we’ll explore how to tell visually compelling stories and create believable characters. Comic Lab participants will develop their art and writing, have access to professional quality art supplies, and publish their own comic zines.

Suggested grade range: 2nd-6th.


Diary of a Shipwrecked Kid

October 14th-November 18th

Are you now or do you plan to be stranded on a desert island? If so, we’ve got the tools you need to survive! In this workshop, we’ll explore desert islands, both real and imagined, and learn creative writing and thinking skills to help us navigate the emotions that come with being stranded. Participants will keep a log of their observations, illustrations, poems and stories.

Suggested grade range: 2nd-6th.

Register here for Diary of a Shipwrecked Kid


SOS: Seekers of Stories

September 10th-December 3rd

Join us every Tuesday this fall as we discover the stories around and within us. We’ll seek out stories in every corner of the universe and use our own memories and imagination to develop what we find. We’ll experiment with telling stories in different mediums – comics, narrative poems, improv, photography – and fill up our journals with snippets, notes, story ideas and a few finished pieces.

Suggested grade range: 2nd-6th.

Register here for SOS: Seekers of Stories


Poetry ⭐️s After-School

September 11th-December 4th

This fall, Wednesdays at DISCO will be reserved for Poetry Stars from DISCO’s in-school program, the Woodlawn Writers Corps. Students will have the opportunity to write and revise their poems, experiment with advanced writing techniques and forms, meet with published poets and practice reading poems in front of an audience at public events at DISCO and around Birmingham.

This workshop is invitation only.


Oh, Odes!

September 12th-September 26th

In this poetry workshop, we'll read and write odes celebrating absolutely everything from the magnificent to the mundane. Any topic is fair game for exploration, from Beyoncé to cheese fries to your grandmother's hands.

Suggested grade range: 7th-12th

Register here for Oh, Odes!

Cauldron Bubbles, Cauldron Brews

October 10th-November 7th

With a pinch of ghost stories here and a sprinkle of magical verse there, we'll spend the spookiest season of the year creating spells and incantations that transform the world around us. This is an open genre workshop, so get ready to write poetry, prose and everything in between!

Suggested grade range: 2nd-6th

Register here for Cauldron Bubbles, Cauldron Brews


DISCO follows the Birmingham City Schools calendar and closings. Check out our calendar for a list of workshop start dates and holidays. Students above suggested age range are welcome to join as student volunteers. They will be held to DISCO’s volunteer standards.