June 23, 2021 | By Carlene Cobb
Bay Area Professional Writers Guild Invites Teens to
Power Writers Creative Writing Workshop
June 30 from 1-3 pm
Online or at Creative Pinellas
Bay Area Professional Writers Guild (BAPWG) welcomes students to Power Writers Creative Writing Workshop. Co-sponsored by Creative Pinellas, this workshop is a virtual and in-person event developed by BAPWG authors and editors specifically for teens 12 to 18 years of age who want to develop their talent and learn more about creative writing.
Part of the Bay Area Professional Writers Guild (BAPWG) mission is to “support and promote the development and advancement of the art of writing.” BAPWG provides networking and mentoring opportunities for professional non-fiction and fiction authors, editors, copywriters and publishers. Organization members developed Power Writers Creative Writing Workshop for students to connect with other young writers and to strengthen storytelling skills for creating powerful, polished writing.
Offering a young writer’s perspective, Emily Conner, rising sophomore at St. Petersburg Collegiate High School, is busy assisting with the Summer Art Academy Camp at Dunedin Fine Art Center (DFAC) and running a project called astraea zine, a worldwide Girl Scout Gold Award Project where girls share their visual art and writing with the world, through the website astraeazine.com and a printed publication.
Emily says, “I hope to pursue a career in psychology. I could also see myself going into journalism and writing. I think I will use writing in whatever career I have. Maybe I could write psychology books or use poetry in therapist sessions.
“My favorite things to write are poetry and short stories. I hope I always continue to write and that my writing can help me with any career path I take.”
Emily says her question for a professional writer is, “How do you get through writer’s block? What’s your advice on building the confidence to share your writing?”
Sophia Schell, rising sophomore at Clearwater Central Catholic High School, also assists with Summer Art Academy Camp at DFAC, and enjoys reading and writing — flash fiction, short stories, mysteries and fantasy. Sophia plans to major in psychology and biology, possibly with a minor in journalism.
Her query for a published author is about getting over the fear of rejection, noting some “brutal” book reviews she has read on Goodreads. Her busy schedule includes preparing for college entrance exams and essays, swim practice, and at least 15 to 20 minutes of daily writing.
“I like to create a whole new world and make a story out of it,” says Sophia. “I also like looking into writing contests for awards and scholarships.
“. . . It’s hard to put yourself out there, it really is. You can take some critiques and grow from your mistakes, but if you love writing, you can’t get discouraged. You have to push yourself to be the best you can be.”
During the Power Writers workshop, information will be shared on careers that require writing proficiency, along with innovative exercises for organizing thoughts and research. The goal is to impart tips from pros for writing with clarity to enhance a full range of professions.
Participants will explore freewriting, clustering, character- and world-building strategies, outlining and saving all writing samples for a portfolio. Students are encouraged to bring to the workshop a work in progress to share for input during an individual breakout session.
“The idea for this workshop started with a telephone call from a mother seeking writing classes outside of school for her daughter,” says BAPWG president and featured workshop speaker Louise Harris. “Our conversation told me there is an interest and a need in the community, and that we could provide this service.”
Suzanne Norman, BAPWG workshop chairperson adds, “I try to pay it forward. I was fortunate to have two mentors who encouraged me to write and connected me with opportunities. This workshop includes time for students to write and receive individual attention for their creative works. The focus is to inspire and refresh their imaginations after a challenging school year.”
Louise Harris adds, “Power Writers is one of BAPWG’s efforts to help boost each young writer’s imagination and confidence, so they feel successful about writing — empowering them to share their stories with the world.”
To allow for time and space to discuss writing projects, the number of in-person participants is limited to 10 on Wednesday, June 30 from 1 to 3 p.m. Participants can join online via Zoom or in-person at Creative Pinellas, 12211 Walsingham Road in Largo.
To RSVP, email email@example.com. A $15 fee can be paid via PayPal. In-person attendees can pay at the door with cash or check payable to Bay Area Professional Writers Guild, Inc.
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Find out more about the Bay Area Professional Writers Guild at bapwg.org.
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Creative Pinellas, an incubator for the creative arts in Pinellas County,
is a co-sponsor of Power Writers Creative Writing Workshop for Teens.