I recently returned from the week-long BC Youth Write Camp in the ebullient heat of the Okanagan. Almost 80 young writers from across the province descended upon the Penticton campus of Okanagan College for the camp, which was sponsored by the Penticton Writers and Publishers (PWAP) and the Raise-a-Reader foundation.
Teaching alongside me were two other teachers of CWILL fame, James McCann and kc dyer, as well as writer and editor Kallie George, publisher Brian Hades, and writer and publisher Lyle Weis.
One of the special aspects of this camp was that it was free to all participants; the attendees entered a writing contest, with the prize being a trip to the Okanagan to study the creative process for a week. Students came from as far away as Prince George and the Queen Charlotte Islands.
The event was kicked off with an event at a packed and bustling Ramada Inn conference room. In attendance was BC Lieutenant Governor Steven Point, who spoke about the importance of storytelling and literacy.
The students, ranging from age 8-20, were treated to a host of different interesting workshops:
Writing Poetry (with Lyle Weis)
The Science and Alchemy of Time Travel (with kc dyer)
Publishing Basics (with Brian Hades)
Mapping Your Story into Comics (with James McCann)
Here Ye, Here Ye, All Writers and Poets (with Kallie George)
Magical Animal Adoption Agency (with Kallie George)
Monster Mash: Creating Creatures for Myths, Legends and Fantasy Stories (with Lee Edward Fodi)
So You Think You’re a Villain: Crafting Characters that are Dreadful and Dastardly (with Lee Edward Fodi)
For me, the highlight of the camp was receiving a bunch of “anonymous” cards from my students after taking my Villain class, each card threatening to torture me with a different item that they had learned I fear (tarantulas, eggs, yogurt, and—worst of all—ketchup). Apparently, I taught my young pupils all too well . . .