Meet the 2017 Scribes Instructors: Michelle Peñaloza & Imani Sims at MoPOP

Posted Wed, 2/15/2017 - 8:56am by  |  Category: ,

Registration is now open for Scribes, Hugo House’s immersive writing camps for teens. Since launching in 1998, Scribes camps have fostered a love of reading and writing in middle- and high-school students. Often, the connections made between fellow campers and to the literary community at large continue long past the last camp day. Scribes have had their work published in Poetry Northwest, gone on to become a Made at Hugo House fellow, and more.

The success of Scribes camps is—like a lot of things in life—thanks to the teachers.

Over the coming weeks, we’ll be highlighting our Scribes instructors to learn more about their literary style and what they have in store for the next batch of young writers.

First up are Michelle Peñaloza and Imani Sims, who’ll be leading the first camp session of the summer starting on July 10 at the Museum of Pop Culture, or MoPOP.

When asked what she’s most looking forward to about teaching at MoPOP, Michelle wrote, “I’m excited to tap into all the various kinds of pop culture that will surround us…Star Trek, Jimi Hendrix, horror movies! Think of all the inspiration, invented forms, and prompts we can play with there!” For Imani, writing from site-specific inspiration is a tool. “I have learned that writing as commentary on the world around me is a form of active resistance and a way to make room for marginalized narratives.”

Get to know more about Michelle and Imani below, and learn about their Scribes camp here.

Michelle Peñaloza

Quick! Favorite word, right now: Kin

A book or writer you wish you’d known about when you were 15: Dogeaters by Jessica Hagedorn

I knew I was going to be a writer when: I found that writing could be hard and I kept coming back to it!

Describe Scribes in five words: WE’LL HAVE SO MUCH FUN!


Imani Sims

Quick! Favorite word, right now: Illustrious. It is such a luscious word! It makes me feel like a queen.

A book or writer you wish you’d know about when you were 15: Oooo…I wish I had known about the work of Edwidge Danticat. Her work is magical. It transports me to places and tells the stories of folks in a way that titillates the senses.

I knew I was going to be a writer when: I wrote my first story in the first grade about a tiny elephant named Tinka. From there, I began to write poetry and discovered creating images in my writing was a great way to pull readers in for a closer look.

Describe Scribes in five words: Literary genius encapsulated by youth.

Scenes from last year’s Scribes at MoPOP: