Poet Rita Dove talked about her writing notebook at the Kachemak Bay Writers Conference in 2011, and her process really struck me as a great way to approach writing. I enjoy using my writing notebook to collect ideas, take research notes, brainstorm, make sketches, anything that I might want to use in my writing. I used Rita Dove’s ideas with my own in a presentation for teens last night.
49 Writers sponsors a youth program called WYAK (Write Young Alaska). Through them, I had the opportunity to present a workshop for teens in the town of Bethel in Western Alaska. We used the OWL network in our public library system so we could hear and see each other in real-time. We talked about the writing notebook, and did some writing and sharing. I really enjoyed the enthusiasm of the team writers, and they brought up some interesting observations in our discussion. Working with these young adults has reinforced my confidence in the next generation of writers. We have some great teens out there, and I look forward to seeing what the future holds for them.
Thanks to the librarians and 49 Writers staff for supporting this program. And thanks to all the professionals and volunteers who make things like this happen for young people all over the world. There are some wonderful writers growing up right now, with a little encouragement from us currently in the field.