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      Culver-Stockton welcomes young writers

      More than 125 students from six different Illinois and Missouri schools attended Wednesday's conference

      Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Missouri hosted it 22nd annual Young Writer's Conference Wednesday morning.

      Culver-Stockton professor's and guest writers introduced students to some fun and creative ways to enrich their storytelling abilities.

      It can be a struggle for Palmyra High School student Sara Hudson to improve her vocabulary.

      "That's just something I wouldn't be able to do, make stories out of words I've never even heard of," Hudson said.

      Along with her classmates, Hudson attended a series of workshops Wednesday at Culver-Stockton to learn new writing techniques.

      "We used some words I've never even heard and they can just make stories out of them," Hudson said.

      Among the many creative writing workshops Hudson participated in was Culver-Stockton Associate Professor of English Steve Long's non-fiction workshop.

      The workshop offered students an opportunity to broaden their knowledge of nouns and adjectives

      "A lot of what they learn here first is that creative writing starts with a challenge," Long said. "So you come up with a challenge to or a problem that you have to solve and you have to create a piece of work that does something interesting."

      Long's goal is to get students to use a more flavorful vocabulary.

      "They learn vocabulary as they do that, they learn how to structure arguments, they learn how to write sentences and things like that," Long said.

      After the students finished writing their stories, they were encouraged to read them out loud. It offered a chance to share their work with others students and get feedback.

      A collage and visual poetry tactics workshop was also offered by Illinois State University English Publication Professor Steve Halle.

      "We're going to do a collage workshop which is a poetry technique that cuts up and uses other people's work to assemble it into a new whole," Halle said.

      Halle said when students look at words with pictures, they're inclined to think more creatively.

      "They always impress me with the way that they see the world and the images that they're able to create," Halle said.

      Hudson feels she's learned a lot from both workshops and can't wait to use her new skills on her next English assignment.

      "If you expand your vocabulary, you can make your writing sound a lot better," Hudson said.

      More than 125 students from six different Illinois and Missouri schools attended Wednesday's conference.