Well done, Genny Knowles!

Congratulations, Genny Knowles!

Genny, a member of the Young Writers' Club of North Vancouver, won first prize in the Federation of BC Writers’ Young BC Writers Contest. The results haven't been posted to the FBCW's site yet but Genny received an email yesterday announcing the good news. Soon her story, Caitlyn's Book, should appear as the winner of the $400 scholarship. 

This was Genny's first competition and she is only in grade 8. She was competing against much older and more experienced writers.

Talent & hard work were on her side.

I’m sure this is the first of many writing achievements for Genny.


Photo from Wikimedia Commons: Congratulations Beach at Druidston Haven from a road alongside Hotel by Steve Sheppard

One door closes....

Good byes always make my throat ache.

Because I have moved out of the area, this week I led my last session of the Young Writers’ Club of North Vancouver.

It was a lively two hours with lots of laughs and some moments of pure poetry.

I’m going to miss you, young writers.

Next month the amazing Lisa Voisin will be taking over and she’ll lead the club to new heights. As hard as it was for me to say good-bye, knowing Lisa is at the helm made it much easier.

One era ends. Another dawns.


Photo from Wikimedia Commons: Wreck Beach by Jennamayyy

7th Annual Junior Authors Short Story Competition

Laura Thomas Communications is hosting another short story competition for young writers. Here are some of the details:

  • Opens February 1, 2014
  • Deadline June 30, 2014
  • Finalists Announced September 20, 2014
  • Winners Announced Live October 18, 2014 at the Junior Authors Writers Conference in Vancouver, Canada
  • Please read the rules and follow them carefully. If there is a tie for a prize, the winner will be the writer who did a better job following the rules.
  • Contest closes at midnight on June 30, 2014 (Pacific Standard Time)
  • FREE to enter  
  • Details about the feedback option for the 2014 contest will be announced when the contest opens.
  • One story per person.
  • Story must be in English.
  • Contest is open to anyone between 9 and 21 years old as of June 30, 2014. Proof of age may be required.
  • It does not matter where you call home. Entries from every country are welcome.
  • Your story can be about anything you like. Be creative and have fun. We don’t judge on the subject of your story, just on how well you write it. But remember that it will be judged according to the criteria for a short story. This is not a contest for scripts, poems, essays or other genres of writing.  
  • Maximum length: 1,000 words.
  • No images, illustrations or fancy fonts. Keep it easy to read. Not sure which font to use? Try Times New Roman 12 pt.


Go here for full information: Laura Thomas Short Story Competition


Picture from Wikimedia Commons: Typewriter Ideal from Seidel & Naumann, Germany by waelder


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.


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