Shannon Johnson, Instructional Services Secretary
The 2013 Young Writers’ Conference was held March 5 & 6th, on the William Penn Campus to honor student writers. It provided an opportunity for young authors to share their writing with peers, and introduced them to professional authors, storytellers, and other communicators. Students attended workshops, and learned new writing techniques. Students were also able to share their own stories with their peers in sharing sessions.
Secondary day started off with the attitude of old man winter causing many schools in the area to cancel and unable to attend. 203 secondary students and 27 teachers from 14 districts were registered, however, 6 districts, 92 students and 8 teachers attended to hear keynote Anthony Wedgeworth and four of the eight presenters. However, the weather did not stop the presenters, students and teachers from having a great day. Anthony, an Iowa native, shared his experiences of moving often as a child, struggling of being the new kid and having dyslexia. Through his experiences, he shared his concept of Why Write?, and his basics of writing, story prep, storytelling and publishing. He is an author of four fantasy books and is self-published. His tips for a great story involves ”always showing your reader instead of telling whenever possible”. He shared examples of plot and character building, and how important relationships incorporate your readers. Anthony was a joy to have present as he had so much to share!
Elementary day started off with minor weather concerns, but in attendance there were 512 elementary students and 76 teachers/parent volunteers from 19 districts and 2 non-public. Nancy Carlson, illustrator and author, shared her journey of 67 picture books she has written and illustrated. She walked the students through her characters and how her life, children and the family dog experiences created her world for writing. Nancy is an artist who has known she wanted to draw since she was very young. She was excited to share with students her joy of drawing and had them draw with her, some of her characters.
There were breakout sessions on calligraphy, performance, poetry, puppetry, getting published, writing workshops and others.
A special “thank you” goes to our presenters who helped make this conference a memorable experience for all participants, our teacher and parent volunteers, William Penn University and staff for making 2013 a success!
It was an exciting two days of full and rich experiences helping students to discover new ideas that will spark their writing.