Workshop presenters required for Junior Authors conference

The Junior Authors Writers Conference will be returning to the "round room" of the Sandman Signature Resort in Richmond this fall.

The one-day conference on Saturday, Oct. 18, which organizer Laura Michelle Thomas has specifically designed to fit the needs of writers ages nine to 21, includes workshops by publishing industry professionals.

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Last year's participants from B.C., Washington and Oregon were inspired by dynamic speakers such as young adult author Darlene Foster, author and storyteller Lois Peterson, journalist Deneka Michaud and George Opacic, author and past-president of the Federation of B.C. Writers.

Wanting to keep the lineup fresh for this annual event, Thomas is still accepting workshop proposals from writers, editors, publishers, and agents until

March 15.

When asked what she is looking for in a workshop presenter, Thomas said, "We are looking for professionals in the publishing industry who have experience mentoring youth, real world publishing experience and who have a dynamic presentation with solid learning outcomes, not to mention passion."

As publisher and senior editor of the e-zine jaBlog! and organizer of two popular international youth writing contests, Thomas knows firsthand how passionate, yet unrealistic, aspiring young writers can be.

"It's important that our speakers teach the hard realities of what it takes to break into print while not quashing the fire it takes to get there," she said.

Anyone interested in submitting a workshop proposal should start by visiting

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