In-person workshops finally resumed for Young Aroostook County writers since the pandemic.

Published: May. 18, 2023 at 12:07 PM EDT
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The Young Authors Institute: organized by Aroostook Right to Read, held its first in-person conference since the pandemic at The University of Maine, Presque Isle Campus on May 17, 2023.

President of Aroostook Right to Read Chelsea Cheney, was excited to finally be able to attend the in-person workshop held for Aroostook County Students. Chelsea remarks, “Young Authors Institute has run for 41 years, but the last two years were virtual, and the year before that was kind of canceled suddenly. So, it’s wonderful to be back in person.”

The Multi-purpose room at UMPI’s campus was full and vibrant on Wednesday morning. Award-winning children’s book author Kimberly Ridley was invited to speak to the young writers; with a message to explore their surroundings, and a promise to never stop writing.

The multi-purpose room filled with young enthusiastic voices, “I promise I’ll keep writing!” Author Kimberly Ridley replied, “Yes! Because the world needs stories now.”

After the presentation, students were dismissed to attend a series of writing and illustrating workshops around the campus.

President Chelsea Cheney states why these programs are essential for Aroostook County school-age kids, “We really just want to encourage them, I mean give them new opportunities. I think a lot of these kids don’t even realize early on that there are authors right in Maine there are authors in Aroostook County, and so opening up just letting them see that those opportunities are available to them, that being small-town kids from Aroostook County does not stop whatever writing dreams they have.”

Ridley ended her presentation by thanking the young Aroostook County students, “Have fun using your superpowers as a writer, thank you, young authors, and congratulations!”

Young writers from all over the Aroostook County school district had an opportunity to meet, learn, and be inspired. Today’s event shows how community members are ready to pick up right where they left off before the pandemic.

Belen Dougherty, News source 8