This year a group of teen writers braved the brutal winter and met at the Millennium Library and learned about the writing craft as part of ACI’s (Arts and Cultural Industries of Manitoba) annual Creative Writing Mentorship Program. I have twice been a special guest of this program, and so it was an honour to be asked to step in and act as the facilitator.
It sounds like a cliché, but I really did learn a great deal about writing from having to examine what I do so that I could teach the craft for the first time! I can only hope that my students share the feeling. Our group was composed of young poets, playwrights, short story writers and novelists all of whom share a bright future in the literary arts. This year’s participants were Chelsey Finney, Rebekka Frederiksen, Emily Funk, Nadine Lowden, Randi-Joe Plourde, Elizabeth Roberts, Sarah Simpson-Yellowquill and Amy Wood.
One of the cool things about this program is that it allows teens to connect with professionals, establish a dialogue, and learn tricks from creators in different genres and with different backgrounds. Our visiting authors were Samantha Beiko, Karen Dudley, Anne Mahon, Daria Salamon, Katherena Vermette, and of course a big shout it goes to Alix-Rae Stefanko, who toured us around both the physical and virtual corners of the Millennium Library. Her presentation was a great reminder just what a wonderful resource the public library is to writers looking for research or inspiration. Remember to check out the Library’s Inspiring Ideas Campaign to help shape the future of Winnipeg Public Library.
The four months went more quickly than I had expected, and it felt like we’d barely started before it was time to gather submissions for our anthology, Shine A Light. We held our windup at the Aboriginal Resources Area on the 2nd floor of Millennium with a public reading of the participants’ stories and poems. There are a couple of copies in circulation, and don’t forget to check out the work of previous students in the anthologies from 2011-2013.
To learn more about ACI ‘s Teen Creative Writing mentorship, you can visit the website: http://www.creativemanitoba.ca/youth/mentorship-16-19-years. You can also email the program coordinator Talia Pura at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ACI Teen Writing Mentorship Program Instructor
Author of Thunder Road www.chadwickginther.com