Ada Mingo Teen Writing Competition

I was in Truro for the third annual teen writing competition, named after my late Mum, and sponsored by the Colchester East Hants Regional Library.  Thanks to the women who put so much effort into this event each year, and to the students/writers who participate.  We’re hoping to get more entries next year by contacting English teachers personally, rather than school principals, who have so many other papers cross their desks daily.  Mum would be so humbled and touched to see these eager young writers, and honoured to have her name associated with an opportunity for young people to shine in the world of words; so often, it’s the athletes, actors and musicians who are more frequently recognized for their accomplishments. 

Sadly, Peter Carver and Kathy Stinson won’t be having their Port Joli Children’s Writers’ Retreat this year – I attended last year, and the fall before, so I’ll miss my time in their fish house this year. 

Gary had a few more small suggestions re A Hare in the Elephant’s Trunk last week, but I think I’m actually finished the manuscript.  The Writers’ Fed is hosting a mentorship reading on June 6th, so I’ll have to select a section to read for that.  I’ll be nervous as it’ll be an adult audience; give me 50 young readers any day for an audience!  As Gary said, they’ll all be hoping for us to do well, as evidence of the value of the mentorship program, and just because it’ll be a writer-friendly crowd.  Hope he’s right…


School Visits

I’m involved in the Writers’ Federation Writers in the Schools (WITS) program, and it’s been a huge part of my writing life over the past two years.  I visited Bayview Community School in Mahone Bay on April 24th and Dr. John C. Wickwire School in Liverpool yesterday.

Usually during school visits, I read Rainbws in the Dark to the younger students, but recently I’ve been reading excerpts from A Hare in the Elephant’s Trunk, and I’m happy to say it’s been well received by the Grade 5 and 6 students I’ve visited.  Yesterday, one class was particularly enthusiastic, and I had several questions re when the book would be published, where they could buy it, etc.  When you spend so much time writing and researching in isolation, it’s a wonderful feeling to get some positive feedback from readers (or potential readers). Thanks so much to those students and teachers for their support! 

I’ll meet my mentor, Gary Blackwood, on Thursday when I’m in Truro for the awards ceremony for the Ada Mingo Teen Writing Competition.  I feel like there isn’t a lot more I can do with the manuscript, but as I told the students, I haven’t yet read through it without making several changes – until I can do that, I won’t really feel like I’ve given it all I have…But I do feel as if I’m getting close to that point.

I can’t imagine writing for young readers and not participating in school visits.  Even though I work in an elementary school four days a week, it’s not the same as being in a school as an author.  WITS is such an incredibly valuable program – thanks to Jane et al at the Fed for  all the hours they put into making it happen every year!