SAN ANTONIO – Gemini Ink is helping people discover the value in their voice. Despite what writing skills you may have or may feel you don’t have, Gemini Ink has been successful at helping kids and adults find their inner author.
For more than two decades, this nonprofit’s vision has been aimed at teaching the craft of the writing arts to all skill levels, from scribbler to wordsmith. Student authors and poets are taught to hone their writing abilities by using the four pillars of writing: form, ambition, language, and polish.
It’s a structure that proves successful for many student authors at Gemini Ink, including Deborah Wesloh, a retired Army Veteran and multi-cancer survivor. Her connection to storytelling began in high school and flourished later in her life.
“Age and experience give you more to talk about,” said Wesloh.
In 2019, she began attending the Veterans’ Writing Collective at Gemini Ink, a free class offered to all military and their immediate family members. Each month members meet up and share the stories they’ve written. Participants are joined by a mentor and given feedback. Deborah enjoys the camaraderie and finds it encouraging.
“It’s a nice way to share what you’ve written,” she said.
Deborah continues to use the skills and guidance she’s gained from Gemini Ink, writing at least 40 stories since 2019. She periodically contributes articles about her cancer journey and looks forward to her first published book, A Seasonal Song, which simply began as a writing experiment with her brother.
Gemini Ink lit a path to a personal talent that Deborah continues to embrace.
“It changed my life. Gemini Ink opens up so many doors,” she said.
An ongoing belief at Gemini Ink is: You never know where the next best story comes from.
So, what would stop anyone from writing it? Sometimes we can be our own inner critic — too harshly judging our abilities or struggling to find the confidence within ourselves, leaving our voice and ideas silent.
“I think people tend to be dismissive because they’re not Emily Dickinson. That’s ok, we don’t need another one of them, we need your story,” said Violeta Garza.
As a former librarian, Violeta is familiar with storytelling but becoming a storyteller was an idea she had not considered before.
With a desire to tap into her creativity, she entered a writing contest, won, and was rewarded with an opportunity to take part in a free class at Gemini Ink. Violeta’s uncertainty to begin writing was met with a “non-judgmental manner” from her peers and teachers.
Violeta later became a recipient of the Clary Clack Scholarship, one of four writing scholarships offered at the writing center. Because of the scholarship’s flexibility, she continues to participate in the different class options that fuel her artistry.
Today, Violeta’s creativity flows through the medium of writing. She continues to bloom in short story writing, performance writing and even poetry.
Writing is seen as a form of self-expression, but Violeta said for her, it has also become a form of self-care. She doesn’t feel pressured when life interferes.
“It’s a solitary task. I can pause and come back; writing accepts me however I arrive to it.”
Gemini Ink is a nonprofit organization with a mission to teach the craft of writing to people of all skill levels so they can bring their stories to life. Since 1993 they have increased access to the writing arts, grown literacy and built joy and engagement with reading and writing. Their vision is that all people experience the power of the writing arts and to teach 12,000 people how to bring their stories to life by 2024. Gemini Ink’s programs serve children, youth and adults across San Antonio.
Fees may apply for some classes or workshops. The Veterans’ Writing Collective and Open Writers’ Lab are free and currently meet online. For more information about discounts, scholarships, attendance, and cost, call Gemini Ink at 210-734-WORD (9673), email: firstname.lastname@example.org or use the links provided below.
- Register for the Spring 2023 classes: HERE
- Learn about the Partners Classes offered to students of all ages: HERE
- RSVP for the free lecture series The Big Texas Author Talk: HERE
- Learn more about scholarships that are offered at Gemini Ink: HERE
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