When Writers Cubed launched the Teen Author Boot Camp 13 years ago, it had very limited marketing means, and one of the things it leaned on was being able to print flyers and posters for schools and libraries to display. The conference quickly become the largest teen author event in the United States thanks to the accessibility to the flyers and posters to inform librarians, teachers and students of the one-day writing conference where guest authors from outside Utah, as well as prominent authors in Utah gathered to help teens elevate their writing. It was inspiring to teens to see how accessible the conference was, and authors they hold in high regard would be teaching classes. The best part was that teens realized there was a place just for them to develop their writing as their needs are very different from those of adults where other writing conferences focus.
After years of depending on social media, and word of mouth, Writers Cubed is planning to return to its roots as it looks to continue to provide access to teens. Writers Cubed is working on plans to get flyers for librarians and teachers to again help spread the word. Since only teens can attend the conference, there is a constant turn over on those who know about and attend the conference. Writers Cubed has an ambitious goal to give more than 25% of the 900 that attend, of the teens from low-income, historically underrepresented, and rural communities access to scholarships to attend the conference. The print flyers and posters would help students understand how to gain access to scholarship resources. This also helps teachers and librarians who look for supporting programs to encourage students to attend.
With an average of 900 teens attending the last 13 years, we have been able to provide a positive impact on over 11,000 teens and help them develop their writing. Thanks to the visibility of the print materials, and the information passed to teachers and librarians to help students know where to go for directed development. On top of that teens are able to gather together in a like-minded community where they form writing groups and build strong friendships that transcend distance. This also gives teens the opportunity to have a voice in the community and shows them the path to share their thoughts with the world.
In a time where loneliness and anxiety are an epidemic of its own thanks a wide variety of factors according to US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy. “Loneliness is more than just a bad feeling. When people are socially disconnected, their risk of anxiety and depression increases. So does their risk of heart disease (29%), dementia (50%), and stroke (32%). The increased risk of premature death associated with social disconnection is comparable to smoking…”. Writers Cubed putting on events for teens, giving them space to connect outside of social media and video games is providing a long-term solution for those in attendance. The importance of the message that needs to be shared through flyers, posters and more can not be understated.
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