Young Writers' Camps

Young Writers' Camps

In partnership with YouthWrite®, Metro Continuing Education and The Bennett Centre are pleased to offer Young Writers' Camps to students in grades 4-9. Camps are offered during Teachers' Convention and Spring Break.

Young Writers’ Camp is held at The Bennett Centre: 9703-94 Street. 
All camps run from 9:30 am - 3:30 pm
Two day camps are $89.95

 Grades 4, 5 & 6 

February 25 - 26, 2016           
March 29 - 30, 2016  

 Grades 7, 8 & 9

 March 31 - April 1, 2016

*Pre and post camp supervision is available from 8:00-9:30 am and 3:30-5:00 pm for an additional cost.

YouthWrite®, a prominent organization in Edmonton's writing community, has organized and hosted writing camps for kids the past 20 years.

At Young Writers' Camp, students will work with top-notch published authors, learn writing techniques for specific genres, and have the opportunity to ask questions and receive guidance from experienced writers. YouthWrite® specially hand-picks our instructors! 

For more information, contact The Bennett Centre at 780.468.1439. For information on additional upcoming camps, visit the YouthWrite® website. For information on what to bring to camp, click here.

Register online here or by phone at 780.428.1111

2016 Instructors and Programs

February 25-26, 2016

Tololwa M. Mollel writes books for the young and the young at heart, like himself! He’s an award-winning author of over 20 titles in English and Swahili, the national language of the East African country of Tanzania where he was born. He also writes short fiction and creative non-fiction. When he isn’t writing, he tells stories or he performs them in theatre. Or he both tells and performs stories anywhere, anytime to anyone – for a thousand ears and eyes or for one set of ears and eyes.

Story Zone:  How creative can you be? In coming up with unexpected ideas. In turning the ideas into surprise stories. Come and find out in a session with Tololwa Mollel. In the process, discover your own story zone. You'll start with small enjoyable dramatic and creative activities, on your own and with others, which will help you come up with unexpected story ideas. You'll attempt, in a nicely challenging way, to mold ideas into surprise stories or promising story starters. You'll get a chance to share the fruit of your creative work with good, supportive listeners. The session will make you begin to see why you may need to have and how you can have a story or writing zone for yourself. 

Angela Flatekval has led a vast and varied creative life.  She has long been invested in telling stories through movement and music in the performing arts.  Expression through movement and physicality has been second … perhaps even first… nature.  It is an exciting endeavor to have the opportunity to assist in the development of new work and an honour to nurture those just learning to use their own creative voice.

Timber? Nope… Timbre! Timbre is a musical term most easily explained by the phrase ‘the character or quality of sound’. All stories turn on action and drama, and verbs ARE the action. So, can the verbs you choose add to your characters or their quality of experience in your story?  Yes! Movement has timber, too. Movement and drama can change everything you think about characters you are creating and can ultimately affect the throes of your story. 

Tyler Enfield is the award-winning author of the children’s novel series Wrush, which began as a bedtime story when his daughter was six. Now he visits schools across Canada and the US, sharing his stories and workshops. Tyler is also a photographer, and a budding filmmaker with an untitled project presently in production at the National Film Board of Canada. He’s currently working on a new novel series for young adults.

Write A Fantasy Story That Would Blow Harry Potter's Socks Off (if he read it) - Ever wanted to write your own fantasy story, but not sure where to begin? Learn the "Fantasy Blueprint" every young author needs to write his/her own Harry Potter. We'll explore the key elements to good fantasy writing, the importance of developing magic, world-building, point of view, and much more in this fun workshop especially designed for those with a passion for fantasy.

March 29-30, 2016

Minister Faust is the critically-acclaimed author of The Alchemists of Kush and Shrinking the Heroes. His debut novel, The Coyote Kings, was shortlisted for a number of awards and his work has appeared in numerous anthologies and journals.  He has taught and presented internationally, was a former Jr/Sr high school English teacher, a former national television and radio host.  Minister Faust was writer in residence at for the English and Film Studies Department at the U of A (2014-2015).

HERO MAKER:  What do Katniss Everdeen, Luke Skywalker, Avatar Korra, and Bilbo Baggins all have in common? It’s more than just being heroes—it’s that they’re archetypal heroes.  But what are archetypes? They’re patterns, formulas, or algorithms that exist in all stories and religions and lives. If you understand them, you can make heroes that are exciting, they kind people dream of being, the kind that you want to talk about forever and ever with friends and fans to debate what you hate and what’s great.

 Join Minister Faust to learn these formulas and how to apply them to your next mega-awesome story!

Laurel Deedrick-Mayne swapped her Arts Administrator pumps and shoulder pads (it was the 80s) for sneakers and a T-shirt before becoming a writer. She also was a dance publicist, concert promoter, ad copywriter and box office bunny.  Laurel has been a keynote speaker and presenter. Her book, A Wake for the Dreamland, is a tribute to the generation of her parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles who took the time to hang on to family letters, clippings, stories and poetry, all those "treasures", that inspired the story.

A Picture Paints a Thousand Words:  In this session we’ll share a pile of captivating photos for inspiration and participants will create their own unique stories. We’ll play ‘beat the clock’ as each writer will have a brief time for free fall writing and then pass his/her photo to a neighbour and start another one and so on. Let’s see how many stories can be conjured from a single image. 

Spyder Yardley-Jones bears the mark of a spider on his forehead and is an internationally recognized visual artist. Illustrator of the graphic novel, Jamie’s Got a Gun, and the picture book, In the Graveyard, Spyder also spins his web as an assistant art preparator, installing shows at the Art Gallery of Alberta.  He teaches the art of cartooning and illustration in elementary, junior and senior high schools in an artist in residency program sponsored by the Edmonton St. David’s Welsh Society.

Welcome to my Neighborhood: Let's draw a street from our imagination. But first Spyder will show you some fun tips on how to draw that store front. And what's a street without an alleyway drawn in one-point perspective? Stores have names with fancy-pants lettering and you'll learn how to do that also and much much more. Think about the kinds of characters who live in any neighbourhood - imagine and write about their lives!

March 31-April 1, 2016

Elena Belyea is a playwright, performer, poet, producer, and recent graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada’s Playwriting Program.  She is the winner of the 2015 Wildfire National Playwriting Competition for her play Cleave and recipient of the Enbridge Nextfest Emerging Artist Award. Her one-woman show, Miss Katelyn’s Grade Threes Prepare for the Inevitable, won Best Production and Best New English Text in the Montreal Fringe. She has published poetry in North Carolina’s Metabolism and Edmonton’s Other Voices. Some of her favourite things outside writing & theatre include girl power, knitting, Sailor Moon, piggy-backs and pizza parties.

There's Treasure Everywhere: Digging Up Stories From Your Own Life Writers, explorers, excavators! Break out your shovels, we're going digging. Get ready to mine deep into your own memories, peel back the ordinary to find the extraordinary, and uncover the truth about whether or not writers really should "write what they know"!

Natasha Deen worked for the provincial government and non-profit agencies before pursuing a career in writing. Her books include Burned, Sleight of Hand, and Guardian, which was a 2015 CCBC Best Pick for Kids and Teens, nominated for a Sunburst Award, and won a bronze Moonbeam Award. She lives in Edmonton, Alberta where she spends a lot of time arguing with her cats and dogs about who is the boss of the house.

THE HORROR OF IT ALL!  Want to creep out your readers? Make them sleep with the lights on? Make them too afraid to even GO to sleep? Natasha’s session will show you how to write the kind of scary that will leave your readers screaming…for more!