Select Page

Young Writers Workshops 2024

Young Writers Workshops

July 29-August 2, 2024

West Plains Council on the Arts (WPCA) and West Plains Public Library will co-host summertime writing workshops for local and visiting youth this summer in the Community Room at the West Plains Public Library, 750 W. Broadway, in West Plains. The program will span July 29-August 2 and will consist of five 3-hour sessions from 1-4 PM each day. All young people aged 9-18 are invited!

Monday’s program on fiction will be conducted by local author, Annie England Noblin of West Plains. Annie England Noblin has an M.A. in English from Missouri State University and has been teaching English, Writing, and Communications for Arkansas State University in Mountain Home since 2010. She has 7 novels published through HarperCollins Publishers. Her latest, Christmas in Blue Dog Valley, was released in September of 2022.

Tuesday’s session will focus on nonfiction and be presented by Curtis Copeland of Springfield, who will talk about the process of researching, developing and writing a book. Copeland is the admin for The Society of Ozarkian Hillcrofters.  He’s the author of Mildred, Quit Hollering! and Other Ozark Folktales and co-authored Ozarks Hillbilly: Stereotype and Reality.

On Wednesday, Abby Hess will present Journalism to attendees. Abby Hess, whose first paid role in the news industry was as an assistant online news editor for the Emporia (Kansas) State University News Bulletin, began her career at the West Plains Daily Quill in January 2015. As managing editor, Abby works directly with reporters and the community to facilitate local news coverage, which includes writing her own contributions to the paper. She has written and edited for several independent publications and freelanced under both roles before joining the newsroom at the Quill.

Thursday’s offering will be Photojournalism, presented by local newspaperman Chris Herbolsheimer. Herbolsheimer, a native of West Plains, has been immersed in the world of photography since childhood. Growing up with a mother who owned the local Fotos From France studio, he took his first photographs with a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle 110 camera—a gift that sparked his lifelong passion. By high school, Chris was already assisting with wedding and portrait photography, honing his skills and artistic eye.

Since then, Chris’ compelling work has garnered multiple accolades, including prestigious awards from the Missouri Press Association. While proficient in digital photography, Chris’s true passion lies in film photography, where he believes the essence of storytelling is most vividly captured. According to him, the power of a photograph lies not in its technical perfection but in the story it conveys, making each of his captures a narrative frozen in time.

Friday will feature Poetry, with an exciting Poetry Workshop led by Dianna Locke, former English teacher and current West Plains Public Library Programming Librarian. Explore the magic of poetry and unleash your creativity with haiku, limericks, acrostics, and blackout poetry! This workshop is perfect for middle school and high school students eager to dive into the world of poetry. Whether you’re a seasoned poet or just starting out, come share your love for words and learn new techniques!

Students can attend one, some, or all sessions. The cost of the workshops will be $10 per student per day, or $40 for all five days.  To sign up, please visit the Facebook event page “Young Writers Workshops 2024”, or complete and return the registration form available here and make payment through the DONATE link below. For more information email

Completed forms and payment by check can be made to WPCA, P O Box 339, West Plains, MO 65775