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.

Just Posted

RCMP: Appledale homicide investigation still active

A 59-year-old man was found dead on May 20

Brrrrring in the New Year with the Polar Bear Swim

Kootenay Co-op Radio teams up with local stewardship groups for annual dip

Nelson Community Food Centre celebrates with Festive Food Days

The idea is to share healthful, festive food over the holidays with people not able to afford it.

Kootenay-Columbia MP reacts to leader’s surprise resignation

The resignation of Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer caught members of his caucus by surprise

Kootenay-Columbia MP talks throne speech, USMCA trade deal

Rob Morrison to open constituency office in Cranbrook at 800C Baker St. on Dec. 19

VIDEO: Success of wildlife corridors in Banff National Park has advocates wanting more

Demand for more highway protection escalated after seven elk were killed by a semi-trailer near Canmore

Sharks beat Canucks 4-2 to snap 6-game skid

Vancouver visits Vegas on Sunday

Fans sing Canadian anthem after sound system breaks at BMW IBSF World Cup

The Canadians in attendance made sure their team and flag were honoured on the podium

VIDEO: Fire destroys Big White Ski Resort chalet

Social media eulogies peg the property, nicknamed “The Pharamacy,” as both loved and hated

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Nanaimo mechanical engineer creates thief tracking program

Nanaimo Thief Tracking lets users plot and share information about thefts online

Mayor wants B.C. to institutionalize severely mental ill people who are homeless

Those suffering from mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, need specialized care, mayor says

Five things of note from Trudeau’s mandate letters to his ministers

Some marching orders come from the Liberal Party’s campaign, while others are new additions

Most Read