We’re proud to announce that five St. Christopher’s School students applied for and received scholarships to attend this year’s James River Writers Conference in October.
Senior Reynolds Short was selected, along with juniors Miles Mullins, Colin Royal, Nash Steed and Mac Suskind. The boys were joined by Lily Kassab, Virginia Nelson and Sophie Rice of St. Catherine’s School, and StC faculty members Durk Steed and John Morgan attended as well.
The conference is an annual gathering that attracts accomplished authors, editors and publishers to share their experiences and methods. The students attended readings, panels, lectures and Q&A sessions with established writers in nonfiction, fiction and poetry.
During one session, Lily Kassab learned how important it is to simply start writing. “The speaker was adamant about getting your ideas on paper, even if they aren't effective initially,” Kassab wrote. “She stressed the importance of using revisions to make your draft into a more effective product.”
Other students learned about specific literary devices. During one lecture, "Momentum and Mood in Poetry," Colin Royal learned how to use breaks to convey momentum and movement. “The most interesting part of this lecture was the explanation of the meaning of pauses within a poem. They are used for dramatic effect, time to reflect, relatability, to draw in the reader, etc.,” wrote Royal.
The conference featured a balance of learning through lectures and hands-on exercises. “I was also able to use the free-write time she allowed us at the beginning of the session, to begin a poem I had been meaning to start,” wrote Kassab.
Another student used his time at the conference to hone his academic writing. “The final session I attended was the most practical for me as a student because it provided useful tips for how to write an essay,” wrote Miles Mullins. “I learned a great deal and think that I will become a better writer because of it.”