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Westchester Writers Learn from the Professionals

Writers and their craft was the focus of an event last week sponsored by Putnam Northern Westchester BOCES at Westchester Community College .

The event, the 25th Annual Young Author’s Conference held and hosted by Westchester Community College, brought together more than 200 of the area’s most promising high school writers to work with professional authors. Students met with a wide range of professionals, including authors of murder mysteries, thrillers, horror stories, stage plays and screenplays.

Students were taught by the published authors and other aspiring writers about a variet of different genres in seminars titled,“Ca-Ching, Making a Living as Writer,” “A Modern Tale of Horror,” and “Just Shoot, Stab, Strangle, Smother or Poison Me: Writing the Murder Mystery.”

Teachers in attendance said the students learned a lot of about writing and what it takes to be an author.

Jeannette Coniglio, a creative writing teacher at Mahopac High School, said the conference “reconfirms the power of writing and helps the students to become more aware of their own styles.” Coniglio said she also appreciated the opportunity to focus on her own creative writing for a day as she participated in the workshops.

Teachers were also participants in the workshop, as Scott Johnson, a published author of four novels and English teacher at Pleasantville High School showed the students different ways to reveal a character’s real character, including their walk, appearance, language and actions.

Robert Lathrop, an English and creative writing teacher at Putnam Valley High School, said the conference was “inspiring, practical and lively.” Lathrop said it was the second year he had brought a group of students who he considers to be “very talented and committed to writing.”

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