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Young Writers’ Conference: Helping kids embrace their inner writing muse

Comprised of students from 12 area communities, the 22nd Annual Young Writer’s Conference brought together area authors, illustrators, and more than 350 inspiring young writers.

Held each spring, the Young Writers’ Conference provides students in grades 3-7 with an opportunity to attend classes presented by Minnesota authors and other artists.

Other artists include storytellers, cartoonists, puppeteers, creative drama teachers, creative dance instructors, illustrators and others. The Lakes Country Service Cooperative organizes and sponsors the unique children’s conference.

M State-Fergus Falls and Victor Lundeen Company also provide goods and services to the event.

“This was our 22nd year and we had a great turn out,” noted Young Writer’s Conference coordinator Jolene King. “We had students from Alexandria, Battle Lake, Campbell-Tintah, Detroit Lakes, Fergus Falls, Henning, Lake Park-Audubon, New York Mills, Morris and Wheaton.

“In all, we had 359 students and 47 chaperones attend our all-day event,” she said.

With workshops provided by three authors, two illustrators, an author/artist, a storyteller and even a magician, the 2013 Young Writer’s Conference afforded students an opportunity to write and illustrate various projects from creative stories to comic books.

Additionally, students had a chance to purchase the authors’ books and have them personally signed. Each participant also received a special Young Writers’ Conference notebook.

This year’s presenters included a variety of regional children’s author and illustrators including: Julie Bowe author of the “Best Friend Keepers” series; illustrator Cori Doefeld of “Penny Loves Pink” and “Lil Bunny Foo Foo, the Real Story;” “The Lore Adventure” author/illustrator Jim Fletcher; outdoor adventure novelist Ron Gamer; storyteller Bob Gash, “Jon and the Soggy Leaf” children’s picture book author Jackie Jenson; magician Nick Bretz and illustrator/cartoonist Scott Rolfs.

For more information about the Young Writer’s Conference, go to the Lakes Country Service Cooperative at or contact Jolene King at

Jake Pfeifer

Jake Pfeifer is a reporter and outdoors editor for RiverTown Multimedia. Previously, he worked at Detroit Lakes Newspapers.

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