Eight years ago, staff at Methow Valley Elementary School began collaborating with Methow Arts on an ambitious project: a Young Writers’ Conference (YWC)—a day-long series of workshops that engage students in writing activities, including attending small-group workshops of their choice. The YWC has grown in subsequent years to include workshop presenters like authors, artists, storytellers, actors, scientists, journalists, and others who use writing in their personal and/or professional lives.
The YWC kicks off with a presentation by a keynote author; this year the featured author is the Methow Valley’s very own award-winning author/illustrator Erik Brooks. The conference itself brings an incredible array of talent into the school, with community members such as songwriter Danbert Nobacon, editorial cartoonist Tania Gonzalez Ortega, newspaper owner/editor Don Nelson, storyteller Dayton Edmonds, poet Rachel Macmorran, and author Shannon Huffman Polson presenting workshops.
The goals of this conference are to provide students with opportunities to:
- View themselves as writers and feel a part of the writing community
- Hear life stories from individuals who have chosen writing as a career
- Observe techniques and skills used by practicing writers
- Integrate art, music, performance, and storytelling into the writing process
At the close of the conference, students gather in small, multi-age groups to share a piece of original writing and reflect on their learnings from the conference. With journals in hands they then depart the school, with their minds open to all the opportunities writing offers.
The Young Writers’ Celebration, from 5:30-7pm on Thu, May 31, is an evening event for parents and community members. Student writing and artwork will be displayed in the Methow Valley Elementary School library, students will take turn reading original poetry and prose at an open microphone, Trails End Bookstore will sell Erik Brooks‘ books, and Erik will be present to sign the books.
The schedule for the Young Writers’ Celebration is:
5:30-7pm: Student work on display in the school library
5:30-6:15pm: Book sales & signing by Erik Brooks
6:15-7pm: Open mic for students
The public is welcome to attend this free event.
The Young Writers’ Conference is presented by the Methow Valley School District and Methow Arts Alliance.
More info: firstname.lastname@example.org, 509-997-4004