Scholarships available for young writers conference

Local author Laura Michelle Thomas is stepping up her efforts to foster the development of young writers by hosting a oneday writers conference this fall.

Thomas, who has been holding a free Junior Authors Short Story Contest for young writers for six years, went international in 2013, attracting more than 1,800 young writers from 67 countries.

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The winners of the sixth annual Junior Authors Short Story Contest will be announced live from the conference, which is taking place at the Sandman Signature Resort in

Richmond Oct. 19. Tickets are available online, and scholarship applications to cover the cost of conference tickets are being accepted until Sept. 30.

The conference, which Thomas has specifically designed to fit the needs of teens and young adults (ages nine to 21), includes six workshops by industry professionals such as young adult author Darlene Foster, author and storyteller Lois Peterson, along with journalist Deneka Michaud and George Opacic, author and past-president of the Federation of B.C. Writers.

Thomas will be acting as host for the day as well as facilitating a Q&A session for parents on how to support their young writer. Several members of Thomas' corporate team of young freelance writers will also be on hand to provide administrative support and assist the participants as needed.

Key sponsors are Thomas' company, Laura Thomas Communications, the Delta school district and Albany Books in Tsawwassen.

To register or apply for a scholarship to next month's Fall Junior Authors Conference, visit www.juniorauthorsconference. com.

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