I had the distinct pleasure of working with two groups of young writers last week. The Write-On Writing Workshop for kids invited me as a guest speaker to talk about writing and publishing. It was a blast, and I was very well taken care of for the few hours I was with them. It was huge fun to talk to the enthusiastic younger kids, to talk about keeping lists of words and playing the dictionary game. They were great! They were so full of energy and ideas.
Then I was fed a wonderful lunch and had the opportunity to sit with the interns who were helping with the program. This was a gifted group of young men and women who asked meaningful questions, and with whom I felt a sort of bond. I remember loving words and writing at that same age, and feeling like such a geek because of it. This collection of talented people was committing its time to helping younger kids cultivate that same desire to express themselves through writing. I was really taken with their dedication and support.
The afternoon session was spent talking about expressing detail and capturing specifics to express emotion and realism. These were the older kids, the kids who already had a handle on words. They got the concepts and instantly started taking them in their own, unique directions. It was delightful to watch and to hear. It was like watching waves break on the shore, carrying shells to be discovered later. Ideas began to bubble up from the depths, and the kids’ eyes would grow wide with awareness!
I gave each group a challenge, and offered prizes for the next year. I hope they keep up with it! I wasn’t trying to get myself invited back, though I would love it, but really just hoping they would continue the work they started during the workshop. I’ll collect the gifts and send them to the workshop directors to hand out.
It was a great time, and I am so thankful to have been made a part of it.