Rochester, MN

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. ~ Ben Franklin

Do you  have a student between the ages of 10 and 16 who is interested in writing? If so, we invite them to join some local authors for a day of creativity and fun.

General Information


Saturday, November 2nd, 2019

9AM - 3PM

Gage Elementary School, Rochester, MN


The Young Writers Workshop is a full-day event dedicated to 10-16 year-old writers 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.


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


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/instructors will be available for purchase during the workshop.

Workshop Sessions

Students will choose FOUR one-hour sessions.

YOU and a Local Author

One-on-One Session

Submit up to 2500 words of your original writing prior to the start of the workshop and have 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, October 27th.

At Second Glance

Jennifer L. Davidson

Learn how to uniquely describe secondary characters as you introduce them in your story. Share with your reader not only the characters’ physical appearance, but what items are stuffed in their pockets or purse, what words are written across their t-shirt or stitched on their hat, and which gestures they use when confronted with difficult questions. After a brief presentation featuring descriptions written by professional authors, volunteers can use props to create one-of-a-kind characters, while the rest of the class writes a vivid description.

Bringing Characters to Life

Anthony W. Eichenlaub

Stories might describe fantastic plots taking place in an incredible world, but it’s the characters that really draw readers in. Learn how to bring your characters to life, shaping them in a way that will grab the reader’s interest in only a few words. We’ll discuss character-driven plotting and ways to grow our stories organically from the desires of our fully realized characters.

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.

Ready, Set, Go! Publishing That First Novel

C.H. Armstrong

Learn about the various routes for publishing that first novel. This session will cover self publishing, small publisher, or publishing through an agent, and will hit on topics including the querying process and the various social media contests to aid in the process.

Do I Really Need to Revise?

Rachel Schieffelbein

Spoiler alert, the answer is YES. You've finished your story, what's the next step? We'll talk about the rounds of revisions published authors go through, what feedback to listen to, and what you can ignore as you polish up your story and make it exactly what you want it to be.

**HIGHLY ENCOURAGED** Help us help you!

Local Authors/Instructors

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

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