Pieces of Time
Lansing Area Patchers, Delta Presbyterian Church at 6100 W. Michigan Ave., Lansing, MI
In 2006 I accepted an article assignment from a small, regional magazine to interview author Christopher Wright of Topinabee, MI, who, under the pen name Johnathan Rand, writes the popular children's book series American Chillers, Michigan Chillers; Freddie Fernortner, Fearless FIrst Grader; and The Adventure Club; as well as several adult novels written as Christopher Knight.
I was aware of his work and wanted to meet him, so I accepted the offer, knowing that an intruduction to a fellow writer was all the pay involved. By the end of the interview (during which he seemed to be asking all the questions) we had begun a dialogue about an idea that neither of us could ignore. What if there was an overnight camp for kids who like to write, as there are camps for football, and, gymnastics, basketball and everything else?
With a huge fan base, Wright was confident that he could draw enough interest to give it a whirl. I had been the head cook at a local camp for several years, and it had not escaped my notice that directing a camp seemed to be a matter of organization. I had enough mental notes to answer in honesty when he asked me "Do you know how to run a camp?" I said, "Yes. I think I do."
The first Author Quest took place in June of 2007. In 2008 we added an August session. In 2012, a winter session found a place on the calendar. By the end of 2013, fifteen camps will be behind us.
Hundreds of kids, ages 10 - 15 have found their "tribe" at Author Quest, where workshops led by published writers are augmented by plenty of time to write without interruptions, healthful meals, outdoor experiences, opportunities to share their work aloud and receive feedback, and no electronic devices.
I'm honored to be the director of Author Quest. We're making a difference for kids who have passion for writing. I wish there had been Author Quest for me!