Who We Are
Flashbang! Writing Studio
Flashbang! Writing Studio has one goal: make writing new. Flashbang!'s classes provide students in grades 7-12 with opportunities inaccessible in the traditional classroom. In order to jumpstart the creative process, we write with our students in the world—in museums, parks, the local coffee shop. In other words, we write where life happens. In our classes, students experiment with form, making poems from found texts and morphing ordinary stories about their summer vacation into a oddly magical tales with sentient trains or winged cousins. Flashbang! is also based within Pittsburgh's rich literary community; local writers join the workshops from time to time, sharing craft tips and how they keep their own writing practice lively. Whether we are wandering the Warhol, recycling pop culture into cut ups on the state of the world, or workshopping one another's newest short stories over cookies at the local coffee shop, students in Flashbang! workshops are up to their elbows in the creative process, refining and polishing and venting their hearts at their pens.
Flashbang! Writing Studio offers one-day and multi-week courses as well as private sessions for youth groups. Multi-week creative writing courses are designed to give students a variety of writing opportunities and the time and guidance to polish their writing. Students in multi-week courses will read model texts, discuss them as a method of learning how to write, share their pieces, and critique the pieces of their classmates. The final class in the multi-week courses will always be a public reading, where students have a chance to read their work aloud for friends and family.
The Location Series give busy students a chance to get a quick—but intense—taste of what Flashbang! has to offer. The classes in this series meet for three hours on Saturday mornings or afternoons and take place throughout the great Pittsburgh area, at museums, parks, and other cultural attractions. During our time together, students receive direct instruction about a particular genre of creative writing and then explore the museum or park to find inspiration and write a poem, story, or memoir in response to the given prompt. We conclude the class with a workshop in which students share what they wrote and provide one another feedback.
Read more about the specific courses at the Classes page.
Sarah & Jeff
Flashbang! Writing Studio is run by the husband-and-wife poetry tag team of Sarah B. Boyle and Jeff Boyle. Both Sarah and Jeff have MFAs in poetry from Sarah Lawrence College, where they met and subsequently fell in love. They are working writers dedicated to their craft and educators seeking to pass the thrill of writing along to the next generation.
Sarah B. Boyle is a Pennsylvania state certified English teacher with nearly 10 years of experience teaching creative writing in diverse settings ranging from suburban middle schools to urban high schools to a county jail. She has published poems and essays widely and is the author of multiple nonfiction books and textbooks for young adults.
Jeff Boyle is a supervising editor in the educational publishing industry. He has a decade of experience writing instruction for English language arts and English language learner textbooks and is an expert in curriculum design for middle and high school level instruction. He has published poems and essays in various journals and is currently a contributing writer to The Hairsplitter.
Sarah and Jeff are currently collaborating on a series of poems based on "America's Next Top Model" and raising their two children, Emmett and Willa.