Maybe next year?

If you’re like me, you may find of the hardest parts of being a writer is working alone.  

That’s just one of the reasons why the Junior Author-Writers Conference last week was successful. It brought together over seventy young writers between the ages of 9 and 18 in a friendly, affirming day of workshops and new writing challenges.

Hosted by Laura Thomas, of Laura Thomas Communications, the conference was the first in a series to further the goal of fostering the development of young writers worldwide. I was invited to observe one of the workshops led by Darlene Foster, called Writing More Than You See.

Darlene read passages from different books to show how all five senses can be used to bring readers into the experience of the story. Then, she handed out photos and asked everyone to write a story about what happened just before and/or just after the pictures were taken. The stories from the conference participants were excellent.

Other sessions were:

Writing Effective Dialogue                                       Michelle Barker

How to Write a Great Article and Get it Published Deneka Michaud

A Story to Learn, Tell and Share                              Lois Peterson

Move Your Body, Clear the Cobwebs                       Jes von Henzke

If You Were the Publisher                                        George Opacic

So it was a day of great variety and many chances to build new friendships. Held at the Sandman Signature Hotel in Richmond (a satellite suburb of Vancouver, Canada) the conference room was spacious and well-lit. The food looked delicious and the laughter that filled the air said everyone was having fun.

Want to build new friendships to help you grow as a writer? Then mark this day on your calendar: October 18, 2014. That’s the date of the next conference.

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Photo: Diversified teenagers by i(love)ny, ericsphotography from iStock