It was so great to be asked by the Vancouver International Writers Festival to lead their Youthwrites workshop this year. Each year, the VIWF runs a contest for all high school students in the Lower Mainland and then holds a workshop for the winners. These are the rules I made up for this year:
Submit a short story about a) a piece of clothing that was very important to you when you were a little kid, b) an unusual pet that belonged to you or someone you knew, or c) an important lesson you learned outside of school. The winners will transform their written pieces into one-page comics in a three-hour workshop with Sarah Leavitt, author and illustrator of Tangles: A Story About Alzheimer’s, My Mother and Me.
I had a great time with the winners. We talked about what comics are and how they work, and then they just got right into working on their stories — they got into that space where they’re writing and drawing with such concentration that it’s dead quiet and you can feel the energy coming off the pens and pencils. They all finished their stories in only four hours. Wow. I’m kind of jealous.
Download the PDF of the booklet the youth made, Hamsters in Bathrooms