February 19, 2022

Grades 6-12




Gray Duck Theater & Coffeeshop

General Information


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


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 19th, 2022

10:00 AM - 2:30 PM

Gray Duck Theater & Coffeehouse


$50 per student


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


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


Both Gray Duck Theater & Coffeehouse and Garden Party Books require masks to be worn while in their businesses.

Workshop Sessions

Students will attend all four 50-minute sessions unless they submit writing for "YOU and a Local Author." These one-on-one meetings will occur during one of the four sessions.

YOU and a Local Author

One-on-One Meeting

Our goal is to have EVERY writer submit their writing for this unique opportunity!


When students submit up to 2500 words prior to the start of the workshop, they'll receive a one-on-one meeting with a local author. This local author will read the student's work and be ready to offer advice, answer questions, and be a genuine voice of encouragement. Deadline for submissions is Sunday, February 13th.

Ready, Set, Go! Publishing That First Novel

C.H. Armstrong

In this session, Armstrong will help students identify ideas to get started on that first manuscript, offer tips for getting those thoughts down on paper, promote the importance of editing, and give a brief overview of the various publishing options available. 

A Light in the Darkness: Crafting SF/F Heroes

Anthony W. Eichenlaub

Are heroes born or made? Chosen or discovered? What kind of person draws a line in the sand and dares evil to cross? In this session we’ll pick apart some of our favorite heroes from books, movies, and TV to figure out what really makes them work. Then we’ll write our own complex heroes and let them shine a light on the shadows.

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.

Character Flaws and How

to Use Them

J. Lynn Else

Being awesome at everything isn’t that awesome…at least not in fiction. Flaws are important for writing intriguing characters. In this session, we’ll discuss how to use flaws to make dynamic and relatable narrators. We’ll also learn about the different types of flaws and how to utilize them so you can tell a great story with unforgettable characters.

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 owner of Rochester Writing Lab. She is also a freelance writer and youth creative writing instructor. Her passion project is to provide more opportunities for young writers who want to delve deeper into the literary arts.


She has written three books in the Kody Burkoff Mystery Series. 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 Rochester Writing Lab's home page. For on-the-go story starter booklets and free instructional videos for writers in grades K-8, visit the shop.