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I am constantly amazed at the creativity and talent in young writers. They write with emotion and the abandon that only comes with youth and a lack of years worth of jadedness. One of my favorite annual events to attend as a writer is the Power of the Pen young writers conference that Williamson County Schools puts on for the gifted students in the county’s middle schools.

Local authors come together to serve as mentors for this sea of young talent at a day-long event. Students create a piece around the annual theme and it is critiqued by those with experience and objectivity. You might be wondering how these kids feel about the critique. Well, according to the amazing teachers who organize it, the students actually wish we were harder on them. Truly, these kids want to refine their craft and are looking to us to help.

It is an honor to be surrounded by fresh young writers, but it is also loads of fun meeting local authors each year. Some of us have begun to make a habit of the event, but others are new to our ranks. When the writers give their introductions and begin to tell about themselves, I am in awe of the talent in our community and begin to feel very pale in comparison. Like the students, I have learned something from the authors at each conference!

The Power of the Pen is fabulous. I can only hope that there are schools all over the country doing similar events, cultivating all that bright new talent!

More information on the WCS Power of the Pen can be found here.

I also made a new friend. Leoanrdo Ramirez, a science fiction and steam punk writer and graphic novelist, (not to mention the husband of a super cool friend of mine) joined the group of authors this year. Check out Lenny in his world at Leonardoverse.