Young Author’s Conference nutures children

Learning the differences between nouns, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs and the like is part of just about every grade schooler’s education. They are, after all, the fundamentals of writing.

However, like creating a watercolor painting, writing involves more than technique.

To help youngsters tap into their inner novelist, the Marquette-Alger Young Authors Conference is taking place this week at Northern Michigan University, with events scheduled at the Peter White Public Library and the Ishpeming Carnegie Library.

The annual event includes literacy activities on which students have been working throughout the year, such as books they’ve illustrated on their own.

Getting and holding a youngster’s attention is crucial at such events, and this year’s conference succeeded in that aspect.

Children’s author Aaron Reynolds, writer of such books as “Creepy Carrots!” and “Sea Monkey & Bob,” was animated and engaging with the kids while talking about the process of writing, which in his case came from his fifth-grade teacher.

Many people had a teacher or adult in their past who spurred them on to creative endeavors, and undoubtedly one of the purposes of the Marquette-Alger Young Authors Conference was inspiring local elementary students to write.

It’s likely that not all of them will become a published author, but knowing how to write well will help them in many aspects of their lives. The conference also could spark their interest in reading more books — and as many writers will tell you, the first rule in learning to write is to read.

Promoting literacy through classroom textbooks is a basic step in educating young people, but certain events go a long way into making what could be dry subject matter into something fun.

We are glad the Marquette-Alger Young Authors Conference comes to town every year, and hope it continues to nurture young minds.