Hazel Montelone, a grade 5 student from Ecole Oriole Park School broadcasts from the broadcast booth during the Young Writer’s Conference on Saturday.

Young writers flex their creativity muscles during junior writing conference in Red Deer

Still successful after 29 years

Usually the hallways of École Oriole Park School are pretty quiet on the weekends, but this Saturday the school played host to the 29th Young Writer’s Conference.

Kory Sholdice, École Oriole Park School vice principal, said the students love coming to school on a Saturday.

“We’ve been going for almost 30 years,” she said. “There are some parents that still remember this conference and how they felt like a writer or an artist after attending the conference.”

For the past 29 years, the school has opened its doors to host the convention that caters to creative students who want explore the world of arts and literature through creative writing, illustration and digital arts.

This year 244 students from 17 schools and two school districts signed up for the writing conference and there are already more schools on board for next year’s conference.

Organizers behind the event say they’re excited that the event, once again has attracted so many representatives of Canadian Literary Arts and such a high student interest.

The writing conference is not just drawing character maps and picking plot lines, the students were invited to join sessions in junk journaling, digital narration, Celtic knotting and improvisation.

Children’s author Georgia Graham was on hand to show students how to illustrate using pastels through her ‘Still Life in Pastel’ session, Graham shows students step by step how to draw realistic objects using shadow and light then it was onto creating textures like metal and glass.

Down the hall in the library were students were learning digital narration.

Sholdice explained that narration is more than just reading a book.

“The students will be using movie maker and a program called Audacity. It’s a really powerful program,” says Sholdice. “The students read a chosen book aloud and using the program they are able to manipulate the tones and their voice and bring the story to life.”

Across the hall, Hazel Montelone, a grade 5 student from Ecole Oriole Park School, was just wrapping up her news broadcast. She sat in on Alan Redel’s news writing session. During his session, Redel, who is a news director with CKGY-FM, asked students to write a fake news story. He set up a mock news conference and presented the young writers with the facts of the case. The students then had to write a news story and then were given the chance to record their broadcast in the radio and TV broadcast booth that is a permanent fixture at the school.

After her broadcast was wrapped up, Montelone took some time to speak to fellow reporters but said she has no immediate plans to ditch school and start a career in broadcast.

“I don’t have any plans or projects on the go. I’m just kind of trying it out right now, I came last year too.” she said. Adding that this year she also checked out bull skit comedy and one of the authors, Simon Rose and his ‘Inspiration, Imagination and Invention’ session during the conference.


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