This week we held our annual Young Authors Conference. This year marked the thirtieth anniversary of the conference, and it was the biggest yet (at least since I’ve been involved), with three-hundred and sixty students attending from twenty-three high schools.
During this conference, young writers have the opportunity to consider the myriad ways in which writing impacts their lives.
And they do so, by learning from the expertise of those in the field, and each other.
And, they do a lot of writing.
Over the course of the day, they are encouraged to write often and reflect regularly, and the idea is simply for this to be an empowering opportunity for them, a means to spend the day writing, and to see just how powerful writing can continue to be for all of us.
For me, personally, this conference means quite a bit. As a learner who came back to writing after having moved away from it for a number of years, I see the tremendous need for a regional gathering such as this. I value the art and craft of writing, and the measures we can take to keep it a daily part of our lives (hence this blog). I even got the chance to write a bit; here was a haiku I created in one of the classes (note that I wrote it after having dealt with some dicey tech issues directly prior):
Tech problems today
Google Drive, I hate you so
Dropbox, now’s your chance.
For some students, this is an opportunity for them to be with their ilk, to truly be with others who think the same way, act the same way, and speak the same way is something that they look forward to every year. As I sat in on a number of workshops, I was so excited to hear students providing feedback to each other in such capable ways; they were truly collaborating around each other’s writing, which made me smile.
And smile broadly.
It’s great to be involved in so many projects that I care so deeply about. And this one has a very special place in my heart, soul, and mind!