Dessa. Staff photo by Carlos Gonzalez

Dessa. Staff photo by Carlos Gonzalez

As a quiet, bookish teen pecking away on my portable typewriter back in the mid -1970s, I didn’t know anybody else who wrote, except my dad, and he was, well, my dad. Not exactly a peer. The idea of a day-long writing conference geared just for people my age was not something in the realm of possibility.
Kids today! They have it so easy! They can just hike down to the Loft Literary Center and spend the day with superstar Dessa, rapper, memoirist, essayist, role model. And, man, they even get a free lunch.
The Teen Writing Conference will be June 18, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the Loft, 1011 Washington Ave. S., in Minneapolis. In addition to Dessa’s keynote speech, there will be classes on writing poetry, short fiction, graphic novels, blogs, screenplays, slam poetry and memoir (yes! memoir for teens! Which seems perfect, when you think about it, because who studies their own life more intensely than a teen?); classes on voice and ‘zines and revision (everybody’s favorite topic); and a vampire camp, whatever that is, I’m frankly afraid to ask.
It’s all free, co-sponsored by the Hennepin County Library. Preregistration is required and can be done online at:
One lovely summer day that--who knows?--could change a teen's life.

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