Approximately 260 middle school students from throughout Cache Valley will be participating in the Young Writers and Artists festival at Utah State University on Wednesday, March 7. The students will showcase their work surrounding the theme “Unplugged.”
The students from North Cache, Mount Logan, Spring Creek and South Cache middle schools will be spending a full day at USU’s Eccles Conference Center. Delsa Bentley is an 8th Grade English teacher at North Cache and she explains that the students will also get to learn from a famous Utah author.
“The kids have been writing and doing art (for several months). They actually had to qualify for it, so not everybody gets to go,” says Bentley. “We spend a day listening to an author, and this year it’s Richard Paul Evans.”
Evans is a #1 New York Times best-selling author of The Christmas Box, the Michael Vey series and many others. Bentley says everyone is really excited to have Evans participate in this year’s program.
The students who wrote stories get to read them in front of other teachers and panelists, who in turn give the students feedback about their stories and their writing. The artists also get their art displayed, get to take multiple art classes and participate in the Evans program.
“It’s a super fun day,” Bentley continues. “We all meet together, then break up into classes, go throughout the day until lunch. This year we have entertainment. We have a magician who gets to be one of the rounds. The kids love him.”
Not only is the festival an opportunity for students to showcase their works and receive quality feedback, but there is some prize money on the line as well.
“We had a logo contest at the beginning,” Bentley explains. “One of the kids from South Cache actually won. Their logo will go on a t-shirt the kids will wear that day, which is super cool for them. We also give $100 for the logo contest winner and $20 for each school’s winner.”
The 7th and 8th grade students who attend are chosen by a committee of educators, teachers from each middle school who teach English and Art classes. Students may have submitted their pieces from a school assignment, an after-school club, or even something they created on their own.
The Young Writers and Artists Fest begins at 9 a.m. and concludes at approximately 2 p.m.