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

Thank you, Eileen Cook!

I’ve read almost every book that Eileen Cook has written so when she accepted the invitation to lead the Young Writers’ Club this week, I don’t know who was more excited – me or the young writers.

I love Eileen’s books because they are funny and poignant. When she speaks, her stories are infused with intelligent humour. She recounted her journey from her earliest rejections to becoming a published, full time author. Her messages were ones we’ve all heard many times and need to hear many more times: keep on trying, keep on improving your craft. Read. Read. Read.

Her exercises fired up imaginations and led to a lot of laughter.

Thank you, Eileen, for carving out this time to visit our group. You’re a tough act to follow. I’m glad there is a month until our next meeting.

PS If you want to follow Eileen on twitter, her handle is @Eileenwriter

Blog for young writers

 Hello Young Writers,  

Thanks for a great turn out last week. Your talent and ability to be creative on the spot was most impressive!

If you're looking for a blog aimed directly at you, please go to the Lynn Valley Literary Society site and click on the drop down menu for the  the Young Writers' Club page. That's where you'll find Maggie's Blog.

Thank you,

Maggie

Lynn Valley Literary Society: www.lynnlit.ca 

The Young Writers' Club of Lynn Valley

The Young Writers' Club of Lynn Valley, part of the Lynn Valley Literary Society, is coming back to life. Starting November 2012, I'm leading monthly two-hour workshops for writers in grades 5 to 12.

When:                The second Wednesday of every month

                          November 2012 to June 2013

                          4:00-6:00 PM

Where:               Mollie Nye House

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                          940 Lynn Valley Road, North Vancouver

Pack your favourite pen and notebook and join us. Using various techniques including free-writing, role playing, black out poetry, and round robin writing challenges you will nurture your creative energy while silencing your inner critic. 

Full details here: Lynn Valley Literary Society

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Photo by: wosephjeber