LA PLUME — Twelve-year-old Quinn O’Malley of Clarks Summit is an aspiring writer and one of nine Abington Heights Middle School students selected to attend the annual Young Authors Day workshop on Wednesday, Nov. 4 at Keystone College.
More than 240 students in grades three to 12 and teachers from Abington Heights, Blue Ridge, Carbondale Area, Forest City, Mountain View, Lackawanna Trail, North Pocono, and Riverside school districts were treated to presentations by Micklos, Gayle Kraus, Matt Novak and Laurel Radzieski, a morning book signing, breakout sessions throughout the day, lunch and refreshments.
The students had to submit poetry, fiction and nonfiction writing samples and were selected by their teachers to participate in the event.
“In fourth grade, when we did the Young Authors Day, I didn’t win, but I was in the finals. They give us a topic,” O’Malley explained. This year she was able to choose her topic. “I like to write poems and the poem I wrote was about inner beauty.”
The Northeastern Pennsylvania Reading Association sponsored the program in conjunction with Keystone College in an effort to encourage reading and creative writing. The keynote speaker was award-winning education journalist and author, John Micklos Jr.
Chairperson Jeanie Prall said the presenters invited to participate are motivating speakers that engage the students in writing activities promoting their love of literacy.
Elizabeth Snyder, Abington Heights Middle School spelling, English, reading and social studies teacher, attended the workshop with her students.
She described the workshop as a “real life experience” for children. “I think it’s great (for the children) to be with other students who love reading and writing,” she said.
Following his assembly, Micklos noted his goal for Young Authors Day is to inspire young writers to pursue a career in writing. He began writing when he was eight and published his first book in 1988, a middle-level biography of actor Leonard Nimoy, particularly well known for his part as Spock in the 1960s “Star Trek” series. Currently, Micklos has authored more than 20 books, including poetry picture books and nonfiction for children and young adult readers.
“Writing has been something I’ve always wanted to do and who knows whether the next J.K. Rowling is in this room,” Micklos said.