Variety of creative writing activities available to Washington County residents, students this spring

Hurricane Middle School students write poetry at the South Campground Amphitheater during a nature poetry field trip, Zion National Park, Utah, March 3, 2017 | File photo by Reuben Wadsworth, St. George News

WASHINGTON COUNTY — Poets, creative writers and outdoor lovers young and old will have no shortage of opportunities to enjoy honing their craft amidst Southern Utah’s beauty this spring.  Three workshops, two for adults and one for students, as well as a contest, will be available for aspiring writers. 

Poetry in the Park

March 6 at 9 a.m., Zion Lodge, Zion National Park.

Sponsored and hosted by the Utah State Poetry Society and Zion National Park Forever Project, this year’s Poetry in the Park will feature a presentation titled “Poetry as Maps” by Rob Carney, Utah Valley University English professor.

A view from the Emerald Pools Trail, one of the trails Poetry in the Park participants traverse on a nature hike, Zion National Park, Utah, March 2, 2018 | File photo by Reuben Wadsworth, St. George News

The experience will also include a guided nature hike, silent poetry writing time and time to share the poetry participants wrote that day and receive feedback on it.

Tuition for the event is $50 for adults and $20 for students accompanied by their teachers. To register and for more information, visit the registration web pageThe deadline to receive a parks pass with registration is Feb. 20. 

Carney will also be giving a free lecture at the Hurricane Community Center Bryce Canyon Room on March 5  at 7 p.m. 

Redrock Writers Seminar

March 7 at 9 a.m., St. George Community Building, 245 N. 200 West.

This year’s Redrock Creative Writing Seminar will feature local broadcaster and columnist Brian Hyde talking about the power of persuasion, former polygamist and now-author Krysten Decker, as well as Carney presenting on how poetry can serve as maps.

Besides hearing from accomplished writers, the seminar gives participants the chance to network with other writers and share experiences. It can be coupled with Poetry in the Park at Zion Lodge the day before for a wonderful writing-intensive weekend. For more information and to sign up, visit the web page.

Registration is $60 before Feb. 15, $65 after, for the general public and $50 for Utah State Poetry Society Members. Students can also attend the seminar for free with a teacher’s recommendation. 

“On the Trail” – 2020 Washington County Youth Creative Writing Contest

For 1st-12th grade students, the second Washington County Youth Creating Contest encourages students to write about how they are “on the trail.”

Students can interpret this theme literally, writing about a time when they have explored something enjoyable. Or they can interpret it figuratively, writing about a time when the student was “on the trail” accomplishing something grand.

Students entering the contest may submit work in two categories, poetry (30 lines or fewer, 12-line minimum) and personal essay (300 words or fewer).

Winners and their parents gather for the Washington County Youth Creative Writing Contest awards ceremony at Highland Park in Washington City, Utah, May 17, 2019 | File photo courtesy of Mikell Terry, St. George News

The contest will feature four age divisions, 1st-3rd grade, 4th-6th grade, 7th-9th grade, 10th-12th grade. Each student can submit one entry per category. Submissions will be open until April 17. There will be 1st-3rd place winners in each division for each category. Winners will receive cash and merchandise prizes donated by contest sponsors.

Students should submit entries through the following online form.

Youth Creative Writing Workshop

April 9 at 9 a.m., Snow Canyon State Park Headquarters.

This workshop provides 8-12th grade students the opportunity to enjoy an outdoor classroom for a day and immerse themselves in writing about nature through identifying metaphors, similes, personification and more.

Students will engage in writing activities, go on a nature hike and have free writing time as well as time to share their writing with others. Students can sign up at the following link and need the endorsement of their teachers.

For further information about the youth contest and workshop, visit the Washington County Youth Creative Writing Facebook page.

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