This past weekend, I had the great privilege of taking my daughter and two other young people to The Teen Writers Conference at Weber State University in Ogden. This is the third year of the conference, and the second time my daughter has attended. It's sponsored by Precision Editing Group, and they put on a great conference.
Listening to these young people talk about their writing dreams, and seeing this kind of first-rate educational opportunity, I truly believe the future of literature is in good hands. If I could have had this kind of training, it may not have taken me well into my 40s to have a publishable manuscript.
On the drive back, I asked each of the three kids in the car what their favorite part of the conference was. Their answers were great, but rather than try and remember exactly what was said, I decided to ask my daughter to share a few of her thoughts here in this post.
Hi! My name is Anna, and this really is a privilege. ^.^ I just want to let you know that the conference, both years that I have attended, has simply been wonderful. You really learn a lot! Each class is an hour long, but you're never bored. It keeps moving and you laugh as you learn. There were 5 workshops and 2 classes to choose from for each hour block. They had lessons for everyone, such as giving characters emotion, writing suspenseful chapters, getting a story started, hooking your audience, writing dialogue, and much more. I just loved the pick-and-choose option--it made everyone happy!
I think what I loved most about the conference itself, though, was simply getting to know other people. I find that a lot of authors are similar in certain ways (or at least authors my age), and in certain pieces of their personality. Examples of this would be an open, creative mind (of course :D ), a thirst for adventure (in some way or another), and, often times, an open heart. So if you sit down and start talking with another random attendee, you're probably going to get along--just because you're authors. You'll at least be able to talk about your writing, if only that. But it was really fun to say hi to so many different teens, and have some really fun and reliable friends by the end of the day. I have 7 new friends and all their emails, and we hope to put together a critique or at least a chatting group. I would say that's the best part; new friends!
My dad is really fond of writing, and of all the authors he knows. I am beginning to come to know this love, and it's wonderful. Thank you, 2011 Teen Writer's Conference!!!