Area teen authors received the chance to meet the public Saturday at Boonslick Regional Library and autograph a book they were responsible for helping to create, “Budding Bards Vol. 2.”
This is the second book in the program designed and sponsored by author Angela Roquet, of Osage Beach, that helps youth learn the art of writing, editing and publishing.
Roquet worked with 11 teens and conducted two writing workshops this summer, one at Boonslick in Sedalia and one at Osage Beach.
“Next year we’ll have a third one in Camdenton,” she said Saturday.
Roquet was born and raised in Sedalia and recently moved to Osage Beach. She is the author of one young adult book and several urban fantasies.
“I’m part of the (Sedalia Area) Literacy Council,” she said. “So, this was something that was fun to collaborate with them for the summer reading program. Linda (Allcorn) was talking about the summer reading programs and this seemed like a fun addition.”
The program is for youth ages 12 through 18. They sign up for the summer reading program writing workshop.
“It’s a three-day workshop, two hours a day,” Roquet said. “They come in, and I go over some tips on the writing process, give them a workout. There’s no restriction on the genre. They can do a scary story, a funny story, whatever they want to do. It’s all about their interest in writing. We go over some things about structure, and dialog, and point of view, and tense. All the different story elements.”
Students come in each day and work on their stories, then Roquet prints them out for peer editing. At the end of the workshop the stories are sent to Roquet and she uses a program to make notes for the participants. She gives them suggestions on improving the piece before it goes to publication.
“They check their emails and make the changes that need to be made, and then I take all the stories and compile them into the collection,” she noted. “Then we print it as the next volume.”
Each student wrote one story with approximately 1,500 words.
“It was all very fluid,” Roquet said. “Some of the kids were more comfortable writing longer stories and some of them like to keep it short. They had a really good variety. Like Wyatt’s (Derendinger) it’s very ‘Star Wars’, futuristic, dystopian, steam punk and very interesting.”
Several other students wrote fantasy stories, while Brandon Gibson, 18, of Sedalia, wrote about different dimensions in time and a fantasy war.
“They are all very creative,” Roquet added.
Derendinger, 12, of Cole Camp, described his story.
“It’s a steam punk, short story about a boy trying to survive pretty much the apocalypse, because of a revolution in futuristic America,” he said.
Derendinger said he was planning to participate in the workshop again next year.
Danielle Spencer, a ninth grader at Smithton, said her story began as project for an English class.
“Because we never turned it in, I elongated it into a story story,” she added. “It’s science fiction, futuristic.”
Spencer has an extra character in the story, a nanny-bot. Her main character is 14-year-old Miranda Hawkins who “downloads information instead of actually going to places.”
“It’s about the future and what it must be like,” Spencer said. “How for an assignment, she has to write a report on the 21st Century.”
Roquet said she funds the publishing of the books herself as a way to give back to the library. This year she had 30 books ready for the teen book signing Saturday. The books were sold out within 20 minutes. Each book costs $10 each and all the proceeds go back to Boonslick.
“I really love what they do with these programs,” she said. “They are so good for the kids and I like that I’m able to get involved and help them.”
Roquet hopes to have the 2016 teen authors sign additional books at the Sedalia Area Literacy Council Tea and Auction to be hosted in April 2017.
Boonslick Regional Library will have additional copies of “Budding Bards Vol. 2” in soon. For more information, visit the library at 219 W. Third St., or call 827-7323.
Faith Bemiss can be reached at 530-0289 or @flbemiss.