Hey all- the following is an interview with Josi Kilpack, THE Teen Writers' Conference chair. I'm honored to be on the committee with her and am looking forward to this conference. It's going to be great, and if you know any kids aged 13-19, please pass the info along!!
NANCY: Tell us a little bit about yourself, Josi.
JOSI: I’m a mother of four, ages 15-7, and an author of 9 novels, with a tenth coming out in August. I have been a member of multiple writing groups, large and small, and a committee member and former conference chair for numerous writer’s conferences. In addition, I’m a frequent presenter to schools and groups, a fabulous cook (if I do say so myself) and amateur chicken farmer.
NANCY: You are the conference chairperson for an upcoming writers' conference for kids. Please tell us about the purpose of the conference.
JOSI: Several of the committee members and myself have been involved with putting together writing conferences for several years. We started small and have grown until our most recent conference had well over 250 attendants. Over the years we have had some teenagers attend our conference, and while they have enjoyed the experience, it seems to also be a bit overwhelming to walk into a two day, morning to night information-fest. So, we began discussing the idea of having a conference where the format, classes, and overall environment is created specifically to give kids, ages 13-19, the best overall introduction to writing conferences as well as instruction that will be most helpful to where they are now on their journey of being a writer. From there we started throwing out ideas and it really just rolled all together until we have this; THE Teen Writer’s Conference.
NANCY: What is your purpose for the conference? What do you hope the teens who come discover?
JOSI: Our hope is that the attendees will discover a lot of things, 1) that they are not the only kids that write, 2) that whatever goals or ambitions they might have in regard to becoming a writer are within reach, and 3) that it takes knowledge and time and concerted effort to accomplish those goals. Those of us on the committee, all of us being writers ourselves, have spent years honing our craft and are excited to help set these kids on that same path—perhaps earlier than we ever started.
NANCY: What kind of classes will you be offering?
JOSI: We will have classes that focus on actual elements of writing, as well as classes on book markets, the publishing process, and what they can do now to best prepare themselves for a future in writing. We have a variety of classes so as to appeal to both new and experiences writers.
NANCY: What if a teen would like to come, but is really shy? Will there be anything that will make him or her uncomfortable?
JOSI: Our entire focus and reason for putting this conference together is to create a comfortable place for young writers to come, learn, and flourish. We have been and will continue to put their comfort as our first priority because we know if they are intimidated and anxious, they will not benefit from this experience. However, we also expect them to be ready for this experience. Each youth, along with their parents, will need to determine if they are ready to be a part of this. Not all teen writers will be, and that’s okay. We hope to make this an annual event, so if this year won’t work, then perhaps by next year they will be ready.
NANCY: What is your overall goal for every youth that attends the Teen Writers' Conference?
JOSI: That they leave encouraged and inspired to do their best, to hone their craft, and to truly reach for the stars in regard to their writing and their life. We also hope they will make friends with one another and feel a sense of community among other writers their own age.
NANCY: How were you able to get such excellent editors and famous writers to attend?
JOSI: Well, in all humility I have to admit that they are my friends—my very good friends. We are like-minded people that saw a common goal and made it happen. I admire each and every person on this committee, and understand the sacrifice they each make to be a part of this. We are joined in this purpose as well as in our passion for great writing. I am blessed to rub shoulders with some of the best writers out there and the attendees get to benefit from that gift in my life.
NANCY: When is it and how do teens register?
JOSI: Registration is open for another 4 weeks. To register, attendees need to go to the website www.teenwritersconference.com and print off the registration form. Those attendees under the age of 17 will need parental permission to attend; then they will mail the completed registration, along with payment, to the address printed on the page. They, and their parents, will receive a welcome e-mail upon receipt of their registration as well as updates as the conference gets closer. Updates will also be posted on the website.
NANCY: Finally, this conference is for 13 to 19 year olds. Why that age group?
JOSI: We discussed this issue at length, and then simply decided since it was a TEEN conference, we would make it open to TEENS only. We feel that having them among their peers will help them relax and yet be willing to ask questions, meet other kids, and focus on the instruction we’re providing. For the older attendees, this will likely be a kind of introduction to adult-focused writer’s conferences, showing them what to expect and how the typical conference is organized. For the younger attendees, we hope they will come back year after year and continue learning about what they can do in the future.
NANCY: Any other information you'd like to share?
JOSI: We’ve had some parents express concern in regard to leaving their children at the conference without them. Again, this conference isn’t right for all teens, or all parents, but we do ask that parents consider the value of letting their children experience the independent nature of this conference. As a committee, we are dedicated to their safety and comfort; they will come to no harm while attending. And while we ask that parents stay clear of the conference rooms, there are many places on campus that are great for reading or getting some other work done if they worry about going too far away. We will also allow attendees to keep cell-phones on silent throughout the conference so that parents are only a phone call away. For those attendees without cell-phones, they are welcome to use a committee member's phone at any time.
NANCY: Where can people go to find more information, and especially to learn about the writing contest made available just for those who attend?
JOSI: www.teenwritersconference.com has all the details of the conference, contest, venue, etc. If something is not answered, there are e-mail links that will send you to us so we can give you the details you are looking for.
**And a final note from me- this is going to be so fun. What I wouldn't have given to have had something like this when I was a kid! I'm looking forward to it and am pleased to be teaching a class, myself!
Questions or comments? Check out the website or feel free to email me.
I like to look for blogs that I call "Soul Blogs," because I can go there for a quick lift regardless of my mood. One of those is, interestingly enough, Soule Mama. Another of my soul blogs is A Traveler's Library.
But NOW, dear reader, I've found a new soul blog. OH! Town Grab Bag is a blog by my friend and gifted writer, Penny Armstrong. She's blogging about Ogden goodies-- poignant, quirky and beautiful-- in Ogden. I've loved this place for years, and it's nice to see someone else share in the fun that is O-town.
Coincidentally, another friend of mine, Brian Nicholson, photo-journalist extraordinaire, has just finished a book called I Am Ogden. It's full of Ogden's quirky mix of people, past and present, (I'm even in it!) and it's so much fun. You should check out his site. It's awesome. Show up on Friday night, April 17, at the Union Grill, and you can buy the book and get 5 bucks off your dinner!
AH! Such a fine tributes paid to my hometown. I love it here.
Ok, so I found this site that calculates your life span by considering health factors, age, weight and family history. It took me about a minute and a half to enter the info and voila, I'm going to live to 89.
Now, the factors I had against me are weight and family history. Can't do much about genetics, but I can lose weight, which I want to do anyway. That way, I'll live comfortably into my nineties, which, of course, we all want to do. What fun would it be to deny our children their God-given right to change our diapers?
My sister posted this on her blog, and I stole it. I'm steeped, right now, in Ancient Egyptian history and 19th Century Egyptology and archaeology for my second book in the Isabelle Webb series. I find this article completely cool! Can't you just hear them now, the ancient ones? "Oooh, no. My nose is all wrong. You're going to have to fix that." And the common folk probably said things like, "How are we expected to compete with expert sculptors? You know those perfect faces aren't real life. I say we love ourselves just as we are."
Anyhoo, I'm a geek, and apparently my sister is, too. ;-) I hope you enjoy this!
CT scan reveals hidden face under Nefertiti bust By PATRICK McGROARTY – 1 day ago
BERLIN (AP) — Researchers in Germany have used a modern medical procedure to uncover a secret within one of ancient Egypt's most treasured artworks — the bust of Nefertiti has two faces. A team led by Dr. Alexander Huppertz, director of the Imaging Science Institute at Berlin's Charite hospital and medical school, discovered a detailed stone carving that differs from the external stucco face when they performed a computed tomography, or CT, scan on the bust.
The findings, published Tuesday in the monthly journal Radiology, are the first to show that the stone core of the statue is a highly detailed sculpture of the queen, Huppertz said.
"Until we did this scan, how deep the stucco was and whether a second face was underneath it was unknown," he said. "The hypothesis was that the stone underneath was just a support."
The differences between the faces, though slight — creases at the corners of the mouth, a bump on the nose of the stone version — suggest to Huppertz that someone expressly ordered the adjustments between stone and stucco when royal sculptors immortalized the wife of Pharaoh Akhenaten 3,300 years ago.
"Changes were made, but some of them are positive, others are negative," Huppertz said.
John H. Taylor, a curator for Ancient Egypt and Sudan at the British Museum in London, said the scan raises interesting questions about why the features were adjusted — but that answers will probably remain elusive.
"One could deduce that the final version was considered in some way more acceptable than the 'hidden' one, though caution is needed in attempting to explain the significance of these changes," Taylor wrote in an e-mail.
The bust underwent a similar CT scan in 1992. But the more primitive scanner used then only generated cross sections of the statue every 5 millimeters — not enough detail, Huppertz said, to reveal the subtlety of the carving hidden just 1-2 millimeters under the stucco.
Egyptologist Ludwig Borchardt discovered the bust in 1912 and added it to Berlin's Egyptian collection on Museum Island, a cluster of five neoclassical art halls that make up one of the city's most familiar landmarks.
Currently on display at the Altes Museum, the bust will move next door when the Neues Museum reopens in October after a lengthy restoration by British architect David Chipperfield.
In 2007, Wildung denied a request from Egypt's antiquities chief to borrow the bust for an exhibition, saying it was too fragile to transport. Huppertz said the results of his scan added credence to that claim.
Taylor, the British Museum curator, said the better understanding of the bust's structure will also help preserve it.
"The findings are particularly significant for the information they shed on the constructional process and the subsurface condition of the bust, which will be of value in ensuring its long-term survival in good condition" Taylor said.