Imagine that this is a story about you and a poem – 25 delicious lines about gathering pancake berries at Moosehide that you submitted to the 2009 Yukon Young Authors Contest.
On the strength of your writing, Robert Service School sent you to the two-day Young Authors Conference at F.H. Collins starting April 30.
Too bad you missed the Reading and Reception on the 29th at the Beringia Centre, but at 7 p.m. you were on the long drive down with your older sister. She told you about the three writers she met at the first conference organized in 1980 by Terry Burns, the librarian, at F.H. Collins.
This year there are five guests in town, including the award-winning playwright, Kenneth Williams, who wrote Baby Daddy about aboriginal teen fathers. Your sister said she’ll audition when Gwaandak Theatre stages Mr. Williams’ commissioned play, Café Daughter.
On the www.yesnet.yk.ca website you read that another of the authors, Candace Savage, wrote her first story in Brownies when she was seven. Now she writes about crows. You’ve marked May 3 at the Beringia Centre for her presentation about “the wise guys of the avian world”.
Shyam Selvadurai is getting the whirlwind tour of the Yukon while he’s here: May 4 in Watson Lake, May 5 in Teslin, May 6 in Carcross, May 7 in Carmacks and May 8 in Faro. You figure it takes that kind of energy to win the Canadian Library Association Book of the Year and a Silver Award for young adult writing from ForeWord Magazine.
From the yesnet page, you jumped over to Arthur Slade’s website. He’s written the Canadian Chills series and won the Governor General’s Award for literature. His new book is Jolted: Newton Starker’s Rules for Survival.
Your workshop facilitator is Shelly Hrdlitschka. Talk about dedication: she wrote children’s stories for 10 years before Orca Books published the eight young-adult novels she’s got out now.
Over the weekend you found sincere encouragement to keep writing: you met talented Canadian writers and you heard great local stories on Friday afternoon when Yukon Young Authors read from their works.
And how surprised were you to win the Minister of Education’s Award in junior poetry? Your sister spent all night congratulating you.
Now look several years into the future.
You open up the latest issue of the free paper and read: “The author, 32, won the Minister’s Award for junior poetry at the age of 14. She has since contributed to Table Scraps Magazine while earning a Culinary Arts degree at Yukon College and five years ago built the XYZ Mine website around her experiences as their camp cook. Her first collection of recipes and adventures in cooking, The Icing on Top, is being released next month.”
Were you surprised when the editor said it was your persistent dedication to writing that convinced him to support your manuscript for publication? Not at all. You’ve known you were on the right path since Grade 8.