Full disclosure: I adore Ellen Hopkins. She reaches out to so many people with kind words, thoughtful praise, thought provoking tweets and facebook posts. Her books deal with the grittiest of topics, but ones that are relevant to so many teens and young adults. How can you not admire a person like that?
She has started a foundation, Ventana Sierra, to help youth who have aged out of the foster care system or have found their dreams crushed by the financial burden of providing for themselves while dreaming of furthering their education. Ventana Sierra will “provide housing, life skills classes, food, medical care” for residents in the program so they can concentrate on getting an educational foundation and a solid foothold on their career path. The residents will need to maintain a 3.0 GPA and remain substance-free.
I mentioned in my opening that Ellen always gives back and she has put together one heck of an Advanced Writing Workshop this summer (June 15th – 16th in Carson City, NV). The proceeds of the workshop will go to Ventana Sierra. Here’s the list of the faculty:
Authors: Cinda Williams Chima, Cynthea Liu, Eric Elfman, Kristin Elizabeth Clark, Suzanne Morgan Williams and Ellen Hopkins
Editors: Emma Dryden, Lorin Oberweger, Sarah Branham
Agents: Laurie McLean, Michael Bourret, Lara Perkins, Jill Corcoran
Publisher: Judith Curr
Take a look at the bios of the authors, editors, agents/publisher. WOW. If you have a manuscript ready or are working on a WIP, take advantage of this opportunity because a gathering of creative help of this caliber is rare, and you will be helping out a great cause.
And if you can’t make the workshop, I’m going to ask you to help spread the word about this new organization by following their facebook page, tumblr and twitter. If you’d like to volunteer your time, donate money (every little bit helps) and/or become a mentor here’s the link.
Thank you for indulging me today; I know this organization will make a difference. And if you’re a writer, well, polish off that manuscript and get some major league help with this workshop. Readers like me have to have new stories to read!