General Information

The Young Writers Workshop is an event dedicated to young writers in grades 6-12 who love being creative and want to learn new skills and techniques from local authors in their community. And as a BONUS, we offer a unique experience where students can upload their writing before the workshop for a one-on-one session with a local author to gain even more insight. Keep scrolling for the full list of writing sessions.


Because writing is fun and it makes our brains better, and we're better people for putting our creative talents to good use. Duh!?!


Saturday, February 29th, 2020

9:30AM - 2PM

Chatfield High School, Chatfield, MN


$50 per student


Students should bring their own lunch and beverage. Food and beverage will not be available for purchase.


We got you! Water bottles and a variety of small snacks will be provided at the end of the day.


YES! Titles written by our talented local authors will be available for purchase during the workshop.

Workshop Sessions

Students will choose FOUR 50-minute sessions.

YOU and a Local Author

One-on-One Session

Our goal is to have EVERY young writer register for this session!


Submit up to 2500 words of your original writing prior to the start of the workshop and receive one-on-one time with a local author who will read your work and be ready to give advice, answer questions, and be a genuine voice of encouragement. Deadline for submitting your writing is Sunday, February 23rd.

Plotting with Post-its

Jennifer L. Davidson

We all love Post-it Notes! They mostly help us remember things, but they can also be used to create a new story plot. In this session, we’ll discuss what every plot needs, how to carry action from scene to scene, and why it’s important to increase the tension from beginning to end. Then, we’ll work as a group to create a plot, writing down scenes or actions on Post-it Notes, and moving them around to generate a unique story outline.

Lured to the Dark Side: Crafting SF/F Villains and Anti-heroes

K. Bird Lincoln

Do you love Snape more than Harry? Loki more than Thor? Can’t wait to find out if Kylo Ren is truly all evil? Come to the dark side where villains and anti-heroes rule! We’ll pick apart your favorite dark characters who walk the line between good and evil to see what makes them tick. We’ll identify their good and bad points. Then we’ll take a stab at creating our own incarnation of darkness! Let’s explore the shadows together and create a complex villain (or anti-hero) to live there!

Every Good Story Contains a Mystery

Mike Kalmbach

Every story needs tension. No matter whether you're writing romance, fantasy, science fiction, or any other genre, learn to use elements of mystery to keep your readers turning pages. In this session, you'll have several opportunities to practice through structured exercises.

Enchanting Your Readers with Scintillating Settings

J. Lynn Else

Learn fun tips and tricks to creating immersive settings and unique dialogue. By building your authenticity, you’re building your audience. We’ll analyze our favorite stories and discuss ways to develop your own setting. What should writers be mindful of when creating the backdrop of a science fiction, fantasy, and/or historical fiction story? We’ll explore further in this session.

Show Me How You Feel

C.H. Armstrong

A person’s body language is a dead giveaway for how they feel about something they like or dislike. The same goes for your characters. Learn how to use a character’s body language, along with dialogue tags, to show emotion in your writing.

Showing Relationships Through Dialogue

Rachel Schieffelbein

We don’t talk to our mom the same way we talk to our best friend. Learn how to show relationships through dialogue, as well as common dialogue mistakes and how to fix them.

Writing for the Stage

Joe Chase

Writing a play—creating characters, plot, scenes, a world that actors will bring to life before an audience—is a unique kind of storytelling that presents its own particular challenges and advantages to the author. We’ll talk about what it’s like to write for the stage, beginning with choosing a story that interests not only the writer, but also the directors, actors and audience members; development of characters whose personalities, words and actions propel that story; and selection of the scenes that will take the story compellingly from the first words setting the stage, through developing conflict, to the peak of the action and resolution.  

Local Authors/Instructors

Jennifer L Davidson

Jennifer L. Davidson 

The Kody Burkoff Mystery Series:

Crossing Carol

Justice for Julia

Missing Maggie

Jennifer L. Davidson is the creator of Rochester Writing Lab for the sole purpose of providing opportunity for those creative types who want to delve deeper into the literary arts.


She has written three books in the Kody Burkoff Mystery Series and is hard at work on her fourth stand-alone novel. She enjoys writing, reading, and sharing with others all that she’s learned while climbing, crawling, and skipping along the winding, and sometimes treacherous, path to becoming an author.

To learn more about Jennifer, visit or