Writing is an art form. It is also a privilege. So, it is an honor to work in a region that supports writing, and has stood behind the practice of writing for so long.
As I’ve mentioned, our region has been home to a Young Authors program that has been in existence for thirty years.
That is a tremendously long time to support any one program. In an age where curriculum, textbooks, and supplemental resources change on a dime, the fact that any given program has existed for so long is a tremendous testament to the wants/desires of the region-at-large.
Our Young Authors Master Class is an opportunity for roughly twenty-five young writers, who show tremendous love for the craft of writing, to join us for a day to work one-on-one with a professional writer and editor to refine a current piece of writing.
Students make additional edits and then submit their work for approval for our regional anthology. Pieces of writing range from poems, to short manuscripts, to sections of a play, to personal narratives. Each piece is markedly different, and showcases both the writer as a person, and the differences in our region.
It is an amazing day, and this year’s was no different. Students reflected on their enjoyment of working one-on-one with the editors, and the writing prompts the students explored were varied and valuable.
What was even more amazing was the fact that some students, who are likely incredibly quiet in their classes on a day-to-day basis, were incredibly outgoing and social. It was clear that students felt as if they were a big family, despite almost all of them having met each other for the first time.
There is a tremendous power in the writing process. It was certainly clear that this was the case as I watched students engage in their writing, and discuss their pieces with editors. It also further convinced me of the necessity for all of us to be “writers” in some regard. Whether it is the actual act of putting pen to paper, or simply the opportunity writing provides us to reflect, we need the practice of writing (or something like it) to help us become the best leaders and learners possible.