OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWinona State University hosted the annual Young Writers Conference May 14-15. The event offers elementary and middle school students the opportunity to attend three unique sessions per day with adult instructors, with the goal of inspiring creativity and developing skills.

This year, the conference drew more than 900 students in the 3rd through 8th grades from the following schools: Elementary—Bluffview Montessori, Caledonia, Chatfield, Cochrane-Fountain City, Dover-Eyota, Houston, Lake City, Lanesboro, Lewiston-Altura, Mabel-Canton, Plainview, Ridgeway Community School, Riverway Learning Community, Rushford-Peterson, Sand Lake, Spring Grove, St. Charles, St. Mary’s Catholic, St. Matthew’s Lutheran, St. Martin’s Lutheran School, Wabasha-Kellogg, (Winona) Goodview, Jefferson, Madison, Rollingstone, Washington-Kosciusko, St. Stanislaus; Middle—Caledonia, Chatfield, Onalaska, Rushford-Peterson, St. Martin’s Lutheran, Winona; High School—Dover-Eyota, Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau, Houston, Lake City, Plainview-Elgin-Millville, Spring Grove, St. Charles, Wabasha-Kellogg.

The presenters were: Bev Cotter (storytelling), Michael Cotter (storytelling), Amy Cundari (drama), Terri DeGezelle (fiction), Bob Kahn (storytelling), Michael Lee (poetry), Ken Lohnquist (songwriting), Patrick Marek (news writing), Barb Nagel (journal writing), Scott Novotny (comedy), Tom Overlie (newscasting/media), Rick Ponzio (fiction), Bruce Ramsdell (genealogy), Marcia Ratliff (wellness/environment), Stephen and Tricia Shaskan (illustration/art), Sarah Squires (journalism), Kathryn Sullivan (science fiction), Melissa Vanderplas (newspaper), Maryann Weidt (nonfiction), and Dean Young (science fiction).

The young writers conference was supported by the following individuals and organizations: Bernatz & VanBeek Law Firm, Donna Helble, Hy-Vee, Elizabeth Callender King Foundation, Kwik Trip-Winona, Merchant’s Bank, Midtown Foods, RTP Corporation, Rushford State Bank, Winona Rotary Club, SEMAC Artist in Education grant, Winona Area Public Schools Foundation, and Winona State University Foundation, including an anonymous donation.

For more information, contact the WSU College of Education at 507-457-5570.

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Emily Dean

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