Greenville Wordsmiths empowers kids ages 7-14 to discover & share their voices through the craft of writing.



Our vision is that all children in Greenville County, regardless of social class, address, or learning difference, will become published authors. We will build a community of supportive adults who listen to, respect, and respond to children's imaginations. We want South Carolina to become synonymous with creative and cultural education in America.

Mission, Vision & History

A Somewhat-Brief History:


Greenville Wordsmiths began in 2012 as "Ugly Words Writing Lab." For three years prior, Adrienne's experience in schools as a tutor and behavior analyst had reflected regional & national headlines: changing standards were pushing creativity out of classrooms. Teachers were overwhelmed. Kids were frustrated. How could our community preserve a sense of wonder and excitement in a system based on standardized performance measures? 


Inspired by author Dave Eggers's TED Talk, Once Upon a School, she founded Ugly Words, or: The World's Most Elaborate Hobby. After attending the 826 101 Seminar in San Francisco (pictured right), she was ready to make things happen. In just two years, 32 volunteers served over 500 children in free creative writing workshops across Greenville County. Treehouse design at Roper Mountain Science Center! Veggie poetry at Swamp Rabbit Cafe! Cupcake reviews at Chocolate Moose! Humor writing with Alchemy Comedy Theater! We did it all.


Adrienne moved to London and earned her MA Writer/Teacher, through which she learned more about running organizations like Ugly Words. She also volunteered at the inspirational Ministry of Stories in mentoring, administrative, and facilitator positions. Ugly Words transformed into Greenville Wordsmiths, and now we have served over 2,500 students.