CCYW’s Summer Workshop Series – Day 1

SUMMER WORKSHOP SERIES

Young writers in grades 6-12 can join award-winning authors, editors, poets and literary agents for four full mornings of inspiring and educational workshops.

The summer workshops are offered to young writers who want to improve their writing.  The workshops will take place over the course of a week.  Various classes will be offered for students to choose from including fiction, non-fiction, screenplay, poetry, broadcast radio, journalism, technical writing, etc.  Each year, the classes offered will vary and change according to the needs and desires of the students. The main focus of the workshop will be in developing the art and craft of writing.  Key concepts for success will be stressed such as the necessity for good grammar, editing and revising – skills necessary in any field.  Instructors will be professionals in the industry, educators and published authors.

Monday Workshop – “These are your people.”

Kim Culbertson kicked off this year’s Summer Workshop series by saying, “These are your people.” Of course she doesn’t mean these exact people, but these types of people are your people, our people. People that love reading, that love writing, that love books.

 Kim Culbertson speaking – Photograph by Elizabeth Donham

Her workshop focused on using travel (whether it’s transatlantic, trans-Californian or just trans-Sacramentian) as a way to broaden your own worldview. She showed us that you don’t need to travel far to gain a new perspective or a new idea. A trip to Germany or an adventure to a new part of town can be equally inspiring. She showed us a good way to flush out our ideas is to write lists. Maybe list five places you’ve been: Germany, San Diego, Downtown Chico, the American River, Heather Hatman’s Bathroom (a scary place for those who haven’t seen). Then pursue one of those options, even if you don’t necessarily think any of them are good, they could lead down another path. It’s important to let accidents happen.

 Tanya Egan Gibson discussing the importance of clothing –

Photograph by Elizabeth Donham

Our next speaker was Tanya Egan Gibson, who focused on building your fictional world. She showed us the importance of the little things. What does it say when the new kid wears a cape? What kinds of brands or foods exist in this world? What jargon and slang and expressions do they use?  Who’s they favorite band? All of these things are important to consider when creating a vivid world for your characters to live in. A strong world can catalyze action, reveal character, and provide texture. She ended the day by giving out free signed copies of her new book How to Buy a Love of Reading.

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