North Shore Youth Writers Conferene

On Friday and Saturday, I taught poetry to high school students at the North Shore Young Writers Conference. More than 30 students from area schools spent two days at the Waring School studying poetry and fiction with authors Carolyn Cooke, Thomas Fox Averill, Baron Wormser, Charlotte Gordon, and me. Thanks to Rod Kessler and Tim Averill for letting me be a part of this conference, which has been running for more than 25 years.

Baron, Charlotte, and Carolyn behind my big head.

The students were terrific. I loved seeing evolution of their first drafts into the nearly finished pieces they read at the student reading on day two. There's also a faculty class for the teachers bringing their classes out for the conference.

Carolyn reads to students.

Charlotte with faculty class.

As a mentor, I was grateful to write when the students wrote. Managed to eke out two drafts in one day (woo hoo!).

Carolyn, Charlotte, and me.

Spending time with such promising students was a treat in itself, but it was great fun spending the breaks with the other mentors. Charlotte I know but not as well as I should--something I will rectify in the near future. Baron was the editor on both of my books (small world)! And it was a pleasure hearing fiction by Carolyn and Tom. The Waring School is located in Beverly, so teaching a mile from home home was icing on the cake.

Tom with students.

For emerging writers north of Boston, the focused attention and connections students develop with one another makes this conference a hidden gem. Wish there was something like this when I was in high school.

Photos by Rod Kessler.


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