Updated: Nov 21, 2020
By Jennifer L. Davidson
Almost a year ago I had this vision of hosting a Young Writers Workshop because I thought kids deserved more opportunities to improve their writing, especially creative writing. After organizing my thoughts and figuring out how to make it different from other workshops, I gathered some local authors and shared my idea. It didn't take a whole lot of convincing. They were in complete agreement and liked the concept of working one-on-one with students to give them a slot of uninterrupted time to discuss what's important to them - their writing.
In school, kids get told how to write and where to put a comma and period, but how many get shown how to better develop a character, setting, or plot? In writing, we talk a lot about showing versus telling. It's always better to show your reader that a character is feeling sad rather than telling them, "She was sad." Writing is also about pacing, finding your voice, including unique character descriptions, eliciting excitement from the reader, and a billion other small points that people don't talk about in normal conversation. At writing workshops, this is the stuff of "normal" conversations, and it's wonderful!
So, tomorrow at the Rochester Writing Lab's first Young Writers Workshop, we're going to talk about that "normal" stuff. We're also going to learn, write, write some more, eat snacks, and hopefully enjoy the company we're in. And if the kids take away anything, I hope it's that writing is a life-long endeavor that can bring them happiness and fulfillment.