Every year ACI Mentorship and the Winnipeg Public Library team up to organize a creative writing group for youth, ages 16-19. I’ve been asked to be a guest speaker a couple of times and always had a good time. So, when Jan Skene, the Mentorship Coordinator, asked me to step in as this year’s Mentor I just had to say yes. I didn’t have the time but really wanted to do it. And, I am so glad I did! Spending time with this inspiring group of young people left me feeling filled up and inspired. They truly blew me away with their dedication and amazing words.
Starting in late January, the group of 11 + me met every second Tuesday at the Millennium Library. We were blessed with visits from writers Chimwenwe Undi, Rosanna Deerchild, David Robertson, Patricia Robertson and Chadwick Ginther. We wrote furiously! And in the end, the kids made Lit: An Anthology and held a public reading in the Carol Shields Auditorium on Saturday, April 30th.
Big, loving shouts-out to all the fine writers in program: Ciarra O’Reggio, John Warkentin, Vannesa Talledo, Hana Tedla, Shayla Mitchell, Kiela Sibal, Essence Wandering Spirit Mordoch, Emmanuel Ogieva, Sarah Vouillon, Megan Tyler, and Whitney Chiji. I am forever in your debt and in awe of your power and passion.
Thanks to all the guest authors, and special thanks to Winnipeg Public Library and the great, Alix-Rae Stefanko for all her hard work getting everything together. One more enthusiastic thanks goes to Jan Skene, ACI’s new mentorship coordinator who has done an amazing job this past year.
If you are a young person 16-19 who likes to write, the program will start recruiting again in the fall. Applications can be found through your school or on our website: http://www.creativemanitoba.ca/youth/mentorship-16-19-years (There’s other great mentorship opportunities too, including one on one mentorships for 20-24 year olds)
The Anthology will be available in the WPL catalogue and via ‘print on demand’ at McNally Robinson Bookseller.