On Sunday, November 14, students, parents, and faculty members gathered in the beit midrash to attend the Sunday WordPlay with guest author Mrs. Gina Nahai.
Nahai, a creative writing professor at USC and columnist for the Los Angeles Jewish Journal, wrote many best-selling books, including the required sophomore and junior summer reading novel, Sunday’s Silence.
Sunday WordPlay is an annual event when Milken’s creative writing department invites professional writers to discuss both their writing and writing process with the students. The wordplay may include lectures, readings, workshops, and writing activities.
Created by Ms. Melody Mansfield, director of the creative writing program and English teacher, the wordplay, which has been at Milken for over a decade, was formed to give students an opportunity to showcase their writings and expose them to the literary world beyond Milken.
Mansfield created the program to fill in a missing link in her students’ literary educations. She believed the recent Sunday WordPlay with Nahai was a success because of the overall turnout of both the students and parents and their undivided attention to the presenter.
“I was really proud of our Milken students – not only for their overall politeness and openness to new ideas and experiences, but also for the quality of questions they asked and the caliber of their responses,” Mansfield said.
Nahai spoke about her inspiration for Sunday’s Silence through her own personal history. From speaking about her family’s ancient history to her childhood in Iran, Nahai traced the path for the audience of the creation of her novel.
After speaking to the group, Nahai led the students in a creative writing activity to help them develop their voices as writers.
The Sunday WordPlay was an overall success, allowing the students to enjoy Nahai’s jokes while paying close attention to her artistic form of integrating reality with nonfiction.