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Young Writers Hone their Craft

--By Chloe Tender

On Tuesday March 12th, young writers from Westchester and Putnam counties were given the rewarding opportunity to attend the 2019 Young Author's Conference at Westchester Community College in Valhalla. At 7:30 AM, coffee in hand, bags under my eyes, I trudged up the cold cement walk of White Plains High School. The second the warm indoor air hit my face, I saw a smiling face of Mr. Cronk, our chaperone. We made sure everyone was there who was attending (it was quite a small group), and we set out for the bus just after the first bell. I boarded the bus, and while sitting there, anxiety started to fill my body. Mr. Cronk provided us with some context and let us know how the day was going to go and what to expect. After this, my mindset completely changed, I was excited and all my worries slipped away. After all, it was an event with other young writers, like me! When we arrived at WCC, we were greeted kindly with some light refreshments, including cereal bars and fruit. Afterwards, we entered a large auditorium. At first, the auditorium was only slightly full, but as time elapsed, many other high school students made their way in. Distant mumbles and conversations buzzed in the theatre. I heard a tap on the microphone and knew it was time to listen. The head organizer of the event began to speak and give us a run-down of the day. Each of us had been given a schedule, and we were to follow it to our classes. Although there was no bell, it was time for us to head to class.

The first class I attended was introduction to screenwriting, While initially I wasn’t very interested in becoming a screenwriter, learning the process and effort of it was mesmerizing. I learned that a page of screenwriting is only one minute of a whole movie. The writer must include a precise description of every aspect needed in the scene. These descriptions can be as simple as whether to use a close up or wide shot. The second class that I attended dealt with how to become a self-published author. The presenter spoke about her journey as an indie writer and gave an insightful explanation of how her past experiences of working with publishers wasn’t for her. Instead, she became independent and self-published her book. The last class I went discussed how to write when you have a passion. In the class, the presenters were vocal about diversity and racial equality. If I could describe their presentation in one word, it would be heartwarming. The fact that someone could create such a fun book for kids to learn from made me so happy. The next generation certainly needs to learn about racial equality and ethnic acceptance. 

I learned many things at this conference, including how to enjoy the writing of others and how these pieces can send valuable messages to people. However, the most important thing that I discovered is my passion for writing.

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