Friday, March 22, 2002

Another Student Writing Conference

Since I was talking about a student writing conference yesterday, I'll continue on that subject today and let you all know about the New England Young Writers' Conference, which is held on the Bread Loaf Campus of Middlebury College. Yes, that is the same Bread Loaf Campus where the Bread Loaf Writer's Conference has been held for, oh, decades (I think it celebrated a 75th anniversary a couple of years ago), and the same Bread Loaf Campus where I spent so many happy hours of my wasted youth working in the kitchen. Which is neither here nor there.

Anyway, the New England Young Writers' Conference is held for a weekend in the spring for high school juniors or "outstanding sophomore writers." (And just what is an "outstanding sophomore writer?" Who gets to decide?) Applicants have to submit writing in order to be considered for the program. The Web site describes the sessions that will be offered and this year's sound great. There will be one on writing about real situations from the point of view of a nursery rhyme or fairy tale character. In another, students will create characters by pretending they, themselves, are writers preparing for a role. There will be workshops on dialogue, sense of place, popular culture, fantasy, the Beats...

You must understand, when I go to a writers' conference (an old writers' conference), the workshops are on topics like "Marketing Your Book" and people spend a lot of time talking about the sorry state of publishing. Which is all just fascinating, of course, and I wouldn't miss it for the world. But that young writers' conference sounds a whole lot better.

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