A CHANCE TO SHINE: Young Writers Showcase Accepting Submissions Through Sept. 23
local youths in grades 3-8 encouraged to submit poetry, prose, and nonfiction works
The Chippewa Valley Book Festival is the unique annual autumnal event that creates space for live readings, opportunities to engage with those authors, and inspiring young writers to find and cultivate their inner authors. Slated for Oct. 15, the Young Writers Showcase is part of the book festival.
The Young Writers Showcase is open to students in grades third through eighth and accepts poetry, prose, fiction, and nonfiction submissions. The young writers may submit one entry per category with the opportunity to have their work selected and read aloud at the Young Writers Showcase, held at the Grand Theatre (102 W. Grand Ave.), as well as the prize of a Dotters Books gift card!
Chairperson of the Young Writers Committee, Susan Schwiebert, is also a former longtime teacher in the Eau Claire Area School District. With a specific fondness for teaching writing during her time as a teacher, Schweibert encourages all parents and teachers to motivate the kids in their lives to submit work.
THIS SHOWCASE REALLY ALLOWS KIDS TO TAP INTO THEIR CREATIVITY AND BE RECOGNIZED FOR IT.
CHAIRPERSON, YOUNG WRITERS COMMITTEE
“I was a teacher in Eau Claire for 35 years, and writing was always my favorite to teach,” Schwiebert said. “This showcase really allows kids to tap into their creativity and be recognized for it.”
While teaching, she encouraged students to enter their work – whether it was a poem they worked on for less than a day or a project they had gone back and edited numerous times – and just about every year, one of those students would be a Young Writers Showcase winner.
In 2022, 18 local students were recognized at the showcase, including students from Sherman and Manz elementary schools; the Chippewa Valley Montessori Charter School; Menomonie, DeLong, Northstar, and South middle schools; as well as homeschooled students.
New this year, selected authors who read their winning works aloud at the Oct. 15 showcase will also be sent home with booklets featuring copies of all the winning entries to look back on. There is also an additional element of feedback for winners, a rubric with ratings of 1 to 4 based on the strength of the author’s voice. “It’s about more than just a nice story, but how an author’s voice comes through, how they organize their thoughts, if there’s a hook, their word choice, all of that,” Schwiebert explained.
Submissions – which are free – will be accepted through 4pm on Saturday, Sept. 23. This year’s optional theme is, “Our beautiful world – the environment affects us all.”
Entries may be submitted via email and sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or dropped off in person at any of the participating libraries: Altoona Public Library, Chippewa Falls Public Library, L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, and Menomonie Public Library.
Selected authors will be notified the week of Sept. 25. Their names and the titles of their works posted at the libraries’ Youth Services Desks and released to the local media.