It’s a busy month, with the Women on Writing (WOW) blog tour, events, the upcoming class through Kay Adams’ Therapeutic Writing Institute, and my presentation at The National Association of Poetry Therapy in Washington DC April 8-11! I’m excited about all the creativity and connections with other writers.

Recently, I was inspired by spending time with a great nonprofit organization started by Verna Dreisbach—the Capitol City Young Writers. [www.capitolcityyoungwriters.com]

Verna brings together young writers every few weeks to help them develop their writing skills and their talents for poetry, fiction, memoir, and all the professional knowledge they need to become writers.

These young people, most of whom have challenging personal lives stayed for over three hours to listen to me speak about my books and my early life—when my adolescence was full of loss and the suicide of a close friend of mine, and to the story of how I became a writer—which included many years of not writing but wanting to. Then Patricia Volonakis Davis gave a writing workshop where they shared their work, and at the end, they all lined up enthusiastically for a book signing and giveaway. Seeing this joy and eagerness reminded me of the days when I dreamed of being a writer at the age of 15, but didn’t feel that it was possible, when my inner critic ran the show. And in those days, of course girls did not “Become a Writer.” That was for men.

Things have changed. Most of the young writers last weekend were girls, with a few very passionate young men attending as well. I was inspired by the freshness of their writing and the fact that young people really do have a voice and a story. Over the next year, I hope to help them develop their voices and feel full permission to tell their stories.