Book Festival Brings Out Teen Writers

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Teens Exercise Writing Chops in Workshop with Maryland Writers Association

Gaithersburg, Md. — On May 20, a group of seriously talented teen writers showed up for the 2017 Gaithersburg Book Festival’s Teen Writing Workshop, sponsored by the Maryland Writers Association, and led by poet Lucinda Marshall, and authors Robin Stevens Payes and Neal Gillen.

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Amid the roar of Amtrak trains (the Festival takes place in a park next to a train station!) and the hubbub of the Festival, teens opened their creativity to pen from prompts (creative exercises), including this one:

Write a story in 12 words or less.

Another favorite prompt? Write about a book festival from the point of view of a book. Think about it. Are those books joyful, anticipating being read? Afraid of being trampled on? Confused by the comings-and-goings of so many people? And can they do anything about it?

This workshop offered a preview for the Teen Writing Clubs held throughout the state of Maryland and sponsored by the Maryland Writers Association in association with local public libraries.

Now in their fourth year of operation, the clubs offer interested teens regular writing experience, and the chance to see their stories, poems, essays and memoirs in print in the Teen Anthology the clubs publish each year.
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To expand on opportunities for teen writers to see their works published, Payes, author of the teen time traveladventure Edge of Yesterday, and creator of the interactive web platform that expands on the novel, explained how the platform offers opportunities for teens to submit their own creative works, whether they’re told in verse, video, music, photos, makers projects or other form of creative expression, as a way to “Make the Story Yours.”

For Maryland teens who are interested in exploring the craft of writing, or for parents interested in finding a teen writing workshop in your neighborhood, contact the Maryland Writers Association at teenwriters@marylandwriters.org.

 

Our fearless leaders (from left-to-right): Lucinda Marshall, Robin Stevens Payes, Neal Gillen

Photo credits: Lucinda Marshall and Robin Payes

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