Youth stand out in Kootenay Literary Competition

Wrapping up its third year, the competition saw its highest number of participants to date.

By Julia Gillmor

It’s not news the Kootenays is a hot bed for literary talent.

From Angie Abdou to Anne Degrace to Tom Wayman to Rita Moir, the list is long and impressive and growing. We’ve always been known as a hub for the arts but sometimes among the festivals and the revelling, the vibrant literary arts community gets overlooked. Then entered, the Kootenay Literary Competition.

Wrapping up its third year, the competition saw its highest number of participants to date and an unprecedented turn out in the youth categories.

As head of the English department at L.V. Rogers secondary school and a board member for the Kootenay Literary Competition, Kari Kroker was thrilled with numbers.

Schools teach creative writing and English literature, but Kroker feels it’s not enough.

“We have to move beyond just our school and [the Kootenay Literary Competition] is an excellent vehicle to do it. It’s giving kids what they need.”

Writing is generally a solitary act and as such Kroker sees the the importance of mentorship and benefit of a supportive community.

“It can be the community that leads and pushes you forward. That is a huge part of what KLC offers.”

And it’s not just youth from L.V. Rogers who participated in the competition, there was equally strong representation throughout the region.

In the fall, youth writing workshops were hosted around the region which helped to promote the contest and offer skills and feedback to participants.

“Kids love the big ideas, they love to give and they love to learn. It bothers me when we diminish their ability, we should expect more from them,” says Kroker.

She would like to see more mentorship for youth in the arts.

“I see a lot of writing that is extremely personal which is a great starting place. But there is so much value in listening to the voices of people that are older than you.”

Kroker’s focus is to get youth to look outward and forward, exploring the big ideas for themselves.

The Kootenay Literary Competition will be announcing another youth workshop in the spring to be lead by Fernie author Angie Abdou. Details about the workshop will be posted online at kootenaylitcomp.com.

The site will also have information about the Kootenay Literary Competition awards night on January 18 with special guests Sandra D and Lucas Myers and story excerpts to be read by the contest winners. The time and location have yet to be announced.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Kootenay snowpack nearing record levels

High snowpack can mean a greater risk of flooding in spring, say forecasters

Calendars for a cause: Linocut calendars raise funds for Kalein Centre

The last few calendars and cards are available at Cowan’s Office Supplies and Zinnia Textiles

VIDEO: Kootenay Patricks, Montreal Canadiens play to the crowd in Nelson

The charity game was a spectacle from puck drop

City of Nelson creates student opportunity

“We didn’t realize how much we needed this person until we met them.”

Whitewater’s Adam Kuch to compete at Freeride Junior World Championship

Kuch is one of four Canadians competing in his division

VIDEO: Mass coronavirus quarantines seen in China won’t happen in Canada, authorities say

‘If a case comes here, and it is probably … it will still be business as normal’

Province’s oldest practising lawyer shares advice at her 100th birthday party

Firefighters bring Constance Isherwood a cake with 100 birthday candles

Vernon woman suing McDonald’s for spilled coffee

Woman seeking nearly $10K, says employee failed to put lid on properly

Diners’ health tax not catching on in B.C., restaurant group says

Small businesses look for options to cover employer health tax

B.C. comic wins judgment after club owner slaps cellphone out of his hands

Incident happened last summer when Garrett Clark was performing in Abbotsford

Mayors call for ‘calmness’ as highway rockslide cuts Tofino, Ucluelet off from supplies

Ministry of transportation expects to open road for “essential travel only” from noon-8 p.m. Friday.

Owner surrenders dog suffering from days-old gunshot wound to B.C. SPCA

The dog was also found to be emaciated and suffering from a flea infestation

B.C. man dies after police called for ‘firearms injury’ in rural Alberta

Victim is 30-year-old Greater Victoria man, say police

Most Read