By Amanda Amsel
Grove City High School students were given a unique opportunity to learn from local acclaimed authors at a mentoring workshop.
The Grove City High School Student’s Literacy Arts Magazine recently hosted the Central Ohio Author Night to celebrate local authors and encourage students to create their own creative works.
Held in the high school library, around 25 students and some parents attended the event.
The panel of nine included area Christian writers, children’s writers, poets, historical fiction writers, non-fiction writers, columnist and romance writers.
Some of the writers that were featured on the panel were also familiar to many of the area teens because of their work in the community. Some of these panelists included former editor of the Southwest Messenger Janet Shailer, co-author of “Game of My Life: Memorable Stories of Buckeye Football” Laura Lanese, Liz Thompson and Diana Hannon, who wrote “Where Have All the Flowers Gone,” a book inspired by her son’s death in Afghanistan.
The panelists each spoke to the group and then answered questions from the students.
“My first suggestion is to journal,” said local author Susan Kay Box Brunner. “When there are times that you feel like you have no one to talk to, just write your feelings down. It helps you release what is on your mind and improve your writing skills at the same time.”
Other authors gave the teens suggestions on how they can build on their writing skills.
“When you are writing a novel you have to figure out how to make your characters as realistic as possible,” Diana Hannon said. “As you write your job is to create as memorable of a character as possible. You need to know your characters inside and out, so that they resonate with the readers.”
The authors encouraged the students to write whenever a thought comes to them and to not be shy about submitting their work.
“Love what you write and be proud of it,” said panelist Eva Siedler. “There is going to be a lot of rejection because writing is a very subjective business. Don’t give up and stick with your work if you believe in it.”
Many of the students, who were juniors and seniors, appreciated getting some real life experience from local professionals. As they decide what they want to go to college for these students said they would keep the advice the panelist gave them in mind.
“After tonight I do want to write now,” said Hannah Hawkins, an 11th grader at Grove City High School. “I liked how the writers talked about rejection and that it is OK for people to tell you no. It gave me inspiration to continue doing what I believe in, even if everyone doesn’t agree with it.”
While, some students came to just get extra credit, they walked away with skills they can teach their family and friends.
“My mom is trying to be published, so I feel like I learned some things I can teach her,” said David Tucker, junior at Grove City High School. “All the writers gave us some really useful information that I can pass on to my mom to help her be a better writer.”