YOUTH writing workshops will run at Northam Library this weekend as part of the Avon Valley Readers and Writers Festival.
Melinda Tognini an acclaimed Perth author, and youth mentor of 20 years, will manage the workshops.
Children can participate in the writing of a newspaper with games and writing activities for ages for 10 to 17.
“This year is the first time I have been involved in the Readers and Writers Festival, Said Tognini.
“The opportunity came to me through my connection with the Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers’ Centre, where I ran a similar holiday mentoring program for kids last year.
“We had great success with our newspaper and a lot of the kids blossomed in their writing ability as a result.”
“I think coming to grips with writing is important for every person’s development…
“There is something about writing, journaling and putting pen to paper, that is deeply therapeutic.
“It helps get the things that float around in our heads out onto a page.
“I love it when kids come into our programs with some raw talent and leave visibly motivated and confident to keep writing.”
Tognini’s present return to mentoring follows close to a decade focused on study and writing, in which she has achieved much praise as an author of invisible stories.
“My most acclaimed book, Many Hearts One Voice is such an invisible story as it focuses on the story of Australia’s out of sight and mind war widows.
“The Australian War Widows guild hired me to write the story.
“It is the tale of the women whose lives have been dramatically impacted by war, but have largely been sidelined from mainstream literature and especially from the Australian War Narrative.”
Having previously been an English teacher Tognini currently mentors sessions with adults and schoolchildren through her company Tree Fall Writing.
She also mentors once a week with the charity 12 Buckets, a program that pairs mentor’s skill sets with kids who display similar interests.
“The best thing parents can do when their child displays and interest in writing is to encourage it.
“Also, there is a clear connection between how much you read and how well you will write.
“There are writing groups all around Perth, Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers’ Centre has a kids writing group on a Tuesday.”