History of Inkspire
Inkspire started with a dream of Jacqueline Hamilton, an English professor at Eastern Kentucky University. Known to students as Mizz JJ, she loves the fun and beauty of writing and wants students to share that mindset. After completing a summer project with the National Writing Project in summer 2011, she developed a summer camp the next year that would reflect that fun mindset. She also wanted students to inspire others through their writing. The name Inkspire fit this mission and her love of wordplay.
Mizz JJ has recruited other teachers and support staff, as well as sponsors, to create an energy-filled camp experience that continues each year. Inkspire includes creativity projects, great books, music, art, games, guest speakers, plenty of traditions, and of course, writing. Two teachers—Jenny Strickland and Jennifer Taylor— have been with her for the full nine years with guest teachers helping during various years. Carolyn Gatewood is in her third year as art teacher.
Mizz JJ also portrays two Chautauqua characters for the Kentucky Humanities Council—mountain educator Alice Lloyd and best-selling detective novelist Sue Grafton. Part of being a character is researching and writing a 40-minute monologue. During the summers she often teaches focus areas such as dramatic expression and creative writing and literary studies for the Kentucky Governor’s Scholars Program.