Monthly Archives: February 2019

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Spring will soon be upon Minnesota, and along with the warm sunshine, puddles of melted snow, and return of the red-winged blackbirds come writing events aplenty for the state’s word-loving youth. From young writer’s conferences to Minnesota’s first weekend-long word festival, the spring of 2019 offers a range of options for Minnesota students to grow their craft and hone their skills. So without further ado, check out these eight spring writing events for Minnesota students and choose the one (or several!) that suits your writing fancy:

Wordplay 2019

When: May 11-12, 2019

Where: Open Book, 1011 Washington Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN

Whether you’re a writer, avid reader, or lover of words, this brand-new event hosted at The Loft in Minneapolis has something for everyone.  The weekend-long festival promises to be “Minnesota’s largest celebration of readers, writers, and great books,” complete with famous authors (including Stephen King, Amy Tan, and Mitch Albom), workshops, book signings, activities, and books galore. For more information on Wordplay for Minnesota youth, adults, and families, visit the website.

South Central Service Cooperative’s Young Writers and Artists Conference 2019

When: March 12-13, 2019

Where: Bethany Lutheran College, Mankato

Hosted by the South Central Service Cooperative (SCSC), this writing conference targets students in grades 3 to 8 living in the Mankato area. You’ll enjoy a keynote presentation by songwriter Ken Lonnquist, along with a variety of breakout sessions, from writing about extreme sports to creating a murder mystery. The cost to participate in the SCSC conference runs $27 to $37, depending on how soon you register for the event.

Southeast Service Cooperative's Young Authors, Young Artists Conference 2019

When: May 21-23, 2019

Where: Rochester Community and Technical College, Rochester, Minnesota

The Southeast Service Cooperative’s Young Authors, Young Artists Conference caters to students in grades 3 to 5 living in southeast Minnesota. (The SSC’s conference for grades 6 to 8 is held in the fall.) The focus of this conference is “to promote student enthusiasm and competence in written and visual communication” and includes a keynote speaker and three breakout sessions. More information will be available on the website as the conference date nears.

Minnesota Book Publishers Roundtable 2019 Internship Fair

When: March 19, 2019

Where: Open Book, 1011 Washington Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN

Are you an older student looking for an internship in the field of writing and publishing? Plan to head to the MBPR’s annual internship fair, where you can meet Minnesota magazine and book publishers and discuss internship possibilities, both paid and for academic credit. Bring at least 10 copies of your resume. Check out the details here.

Success Beyond the Classroom Young Author’s Conference 2019

When: May 28-31, 2019

Where: Bethel University, Arden Hills, MN

Registration Deadline: February 28, 2019

This is the second Young Author’s Conference of the year held at Bethel. Students in grades 4 through 8 can spend the day learning from professional Minnesota Authors. The theme of this conference is “Expect the Unexpected! Where Will Writing Take You?” and includes breakout sessions along with a keynote address. Some fun extras? Open mic, a book fair, and live music. Early bird registration has passed, but there are still a few days to register for the conference.

2019 Camp NaNoWriMo

When: April 2019

Where: Anywhere!

Although this event is open to any young writer anywhere, Minnesota students would be well served to consider this rewarding longtime writing event. You can chat on the forum with other Minnesota students who are trying their hand at novel writing, poetry, or short stories, plus there are many weekly events to prepare for your writing endeavor. This virtual writing retreat can pay off big in creativity, writing practice, and networking. Check it out here.

Lakes Country Service Cooperative's Young Writer’s Conference 2019

When: Spring 2019

Where: 1001 E. Mount Faith, Fergus Falls, MN

Held every spring, the LCSC Young Writer’s Conference is an opportunity for students in grades 3 to 7 living in an around Fergus Falls to attend classes taught by Minnesota authors and other artists, including storytellers, puppeteers, and illustrators. For more information and updates on the timing and details of this conference, please visit the website.

Kate DiCamillo – A Piglet Named Mercy Tour

When: April 6, 2019, 1-4 pm

Where: Barnes & Noble Apache, Rochester, MN

Favorite Minnesota children’s author Kate DiCamillo will be appearing at the Rochester Barnes and Noble bookstore to talk about A Piglet Named Mercy, the picture book prequel to the New York Times-bestselling Mercy Watson series. No matter your age, this is a great way for aspiring  writers to see one of the top Minnesota children’s authors in person and learn what goes into the writing and publishing of a successful children’s book. Information is available on the B&N website.

If you’re a Minnesota student who likes to write, make this spring an eventful one. There’s plenty here to choose from and you’ll gain knowledge and skills that can help advance your writing craft—and your dream of being an author.

 

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Wish you could put more emotion in your writing? If you’re worried you’ll sound unprofessional or you’re just plain uncomfortable showing feelings, here’s some good news: it’s okay to write with the heart. In fact, it can bring life to your words, engage your readers, and free your spirit. But there is a catch—putting emotion in your writing must be done with care in order to work. With Valentine’s Day nearing, why not let it inspire you to take your feelings to the page. These ideas will help you write with the heart:

Remember To Show

You may be tired of hearing the mantra “show don’t tell,” but in order to write with the heart, you have to take those three words to heart. When you let readers tap into the senses by showing rather than telling, they’ll feel what you’re feeling, no explanation necessary. And that makes writing with emotion easier for you and more satisfying to experience for the reader.

Make It Relatable

Exposing your emotions in writing is a lot less intimidating if readers get what you’re saying. Gushing over something that no one but you cares about or can relate to won’t draw readers in and keep them interested. In fact, it might turn them off. When you write with the heart, make sure people connect with your feelings. In other words, always keep your audience in mind.

Be Honest and Real

Emotions in writing can come off as overdone, contrived, or fake if they’re not heartfelt. Whatever it is you’re describing should actually touch or move you. Think of people who feign emotion and feelings in person. It shows. The same thing will happen if you pretend on paper. Be real and true to yourself, and writing with the heart will come easily, naturally, and credibly.

Follow Up with Your Head

When you write with the heart, the initial draft can sound pretty raw. That’s why it’s important to take a second, third, or even fourth look at your work. You might even set your writing aside for a day or two. Then go back and edit with your head—tone down your words, fix sentences so they flow better, and make sure your point or message filters through the emotion.

Don’t be afraid to show your feelings on paper. Done with care, writing with the heart can be highly gratifying and inspiring for you and your readers.