New writing group launched for young people

Writers’ Ink and the Red Deer Public Library are partnering to sponsor a monthly writing group called Think to Ink.

It’s for very young aspiring writers between the ages of eight and 14, although older youth are welcome too.

Jenn Christman, an aspiring Red Deer writer herself, and a member of Writers’ Ink, a support group for local adult writers, came up with the idea of Think to Ink when the group was approached by parents wondering if there was a place their young children could go to write. The group, now facilitated by Christman, who also has a daughter who likes to write, held their first two meetings before Christmas.

She says, “They are a great bunch of kids, a challenging bunch of kids. Two of the youngest are eight and there are two 17-year-olds who say they’ll continue to come and mentor the younger kids. I’m trying to encourage them to bring in writing they do on their own time to share with the group and we also provide themes or ideas that they can write about, like looking at a painting on the wall and writing a story about it. I have big visions for the group, but I’ve told them we can do anything they want. I don’t want it structured like school, they go to school five days a week. I want it to be creative and fun.”

Christman says she is amazed at the talent these young writers are displaying. Monthly meetings are set up till June and Christman is hoping to organize a forum around the end of June where group members can present their writing.

“I think it’s really important to encourage them to stand up and display their talent, and share what they do to keep up their enthusiasm. The group is important because kids who write are often the only ones among their friends who do it. Often they don’t show their writing to anyone, except for their parents or a teacher, but this way they see they are not alone.”

Other options, if their parents approve, may include a facebook group or a blog where the group can showcase their writing.

The Think to Ink group meets Saturday afternoons between one and three at the downtown library in the Waskasoo Room. The next meeting is Jan. 22 and is open to all, although parents have to sign younger children in and out. For more information check out the library’s web site or e-mail Christman at fnygrl68@shaw.ca.

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