Nearly 400 students from the OESD region participated in the Young Writer’s Conference held regionally March 25th and 27th at Olympic and Peninsula Community Colleges. Students from 12 local districts and five private schools sent students and teachers to participate in the all-day event where students get the opportunity to share stories, learn from presenters and work with their peers.
Grouped with grade level peers and a teacher who presents a lesson and facilitates the sharing session, participants get to hear from noted professionals in two presenter sessions and share lunch together. This year, presenters included Dana Sullivan, a Writer/Illustrator known for “Ozzie and Friends”, lit up the room with his fun nature and flare. After giving an illustration demonstration, Dana asked the children to come up with different situations for Ozzie to reinforce his main objective of having fun while doing what you like to do and enjoy creating whether it is writing, math, drawing or reading. (www.DanaJSullivan.com). Presenting a second workshop, Erik Brooks, a fine artist and children’s book illustrator of several wonderful books including the 2011 Washington State Book Award winner, “Polar Opposites”, and IRA/CBC Children’s Choices selection, “The Practically Perfect Pajamas”, spoke to students about sharing the creative process behind the creation of picture books, also showing them that they too are excellent writers and illustrators. (www.erikbrooks.com) Mary Payne, Librarian at Poulsbo Elementary, who participated in this year’s Young Writer’s Conference shared a few thoughts:
“As Kate DiCamillo – National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature – said “Stories Connect Us!” Only through sharing their stories are our future authors empowering themselves and gaining feed-back in their craft. One of our students – Marin said, “I love to go to Young Writers Conference. I have been two times and each time was a wonderful experience. I get to meet authors , learn how they got started and even get their autographs. I hope I can go again next year.” Sammy said, “ It was really a nice experience and I hope I can do it again.”
The common theme is – I want to go again – The OESD has given our future J.K. Rowlings, our Brandon Mulls an opportunity to share, create and experience the art of storytelling.”
For information regarding the Young Writer’s Conference or for information regarding participation in next year’s conference, visit www.oesd.wednet.edu/youngwriters or by contacting Sarah Freitas at firstname.lastname@example.org