Tag Archives: Carol Baldwin

Read, Write, and Learn…With DevoKids!

About a year ago, I first found out about DevoKids.com, a fun and safe site for students. Part of Christian Devotions Ministries, DevoKids’ mission is to entertain children while sharing with them the love of Christ. There’s so much for kids to read and learn about — and they can even contribute, too!

Devotionals are posted weekly on the site, and each one is based on a particular scripture or passage. The link “Music Dudes and Divas” contains articles about different types of music and various musicians.  In “DaVinci’s Playground,” kids will find ideas for crafts and experiments. There are also links for puzzles and games, cooking ideas, nature and history articles, and money tips.

And there’s more! You’ll find two writing sections to the website, “The Write Buzz” and “Write Now!” In “The Write Buzz”, award-winning author and teacher Christopher Maselli answers questions about writing, while the “Write Now!” column features tips for kids by published authors such as Margot Finke, Carol Baldwin, Donna Shepherd, and Patti Shene.

One of my favorite features of DevoKids is that the site is open to submissions from students, too! What can kids send in? They may choose to write devotions, or they can give directions for making their favorite recipes. If they’ve found a good way to earn money, they can send that in, too. DevoKids is also looking for students with stories about saving, tithing, investing, and giving. Or, if your child has an idea that would fit in the music column, he can submit that as well.

DevoKids is constantly adding new articles, so it’s a site to return to again and again. And because it has so many opportunities for children to learn, create, and grow, you’ll want to do just that.

Unexpected Lessons

This past weekend was a busy one. I had the opportunity to attend the Write2Ignite! writing conference, and I took two of my children along with me.  Three of their cousins attended as well. The youth class for middle school and high school students was taught by author and teacher Carol Baldwin, so  I signed them up, confident they would discover some things about how to write a story of their own.

And they did. My daughter Cassie, now 12, really enjoyed it and said she had learned a lot. My son John agreed.

What I didn’t expect, though, were the opportunities to work on other skills as well — life skills. When we arrived at the conference early Saturday morning, Cassie began looking around for her friend who was also coming to the conference.  The friend hadn’t arrived yet, though, but there was a girl about Cassie’s age sitting with her dad.

“Go over and introduce yourself,” I said, recalling the class in communication Cassie took last summer. “Remember what you learned? Just go up, tell her your name, and ask her what her name is.”

Cassie looked at me with her eyes wide, like a deer in headlights, as they say.  “Well…” she began, and I knew she was thinking up a reason not to go. Moments later, the girl’s friend arrived, and they were sitting together.

“You know,” I said to Cassie, “You can learn a lot more than writing at this conference. You have a chance to reach out to other people. Your friend is coming, but she doesn’t know your cousins — introduce her and pull her into the group. Then, you can go meet those two girls over there, and pull them in as well. What an great opportunity!”

“Maybe,” Cassie reluctantly admitted, and she went to find a seat until her friend arrived. That’s when I began scanning the room for someone I knew to talk to. Some people were getting coffee, some were reading, some were just sitting alone at a table. Then I caught myself —  it looked like I had that same opportunity.

Photo by taliesin

Write2Ignite!

This is my third year of being part of the Write2Ignite! Conference, and I’m so excited! This year, the conference will again be held at North Greenville University in Greenville County, South Carolina, February 19-20. And one of the best features: the Teen Track for middle and high school students!

This year’s Teen Track Speaker is author and teacher Carol Baldwin. Her goal: to inspire students to write the story only they can write. By the end of three sessions, students will have created original characters and placed them in believable settings, brainstormed conflict and plot ideas, and learned how to mine from their own life experiences.

And that’s not all! Carol will also show them the benefits of the red pen, as they learn how to edit their own work. She’ll also describe for them the path to publication and how they can become published, too.

If you’re also interested in writing, you could make the conference an educational experience for both you and your child! Although this conference is primarily geared towards Christians who write for children, there’s a lot of great information for those who write for adults as well. Workshop topics include researching,  creating characters, writing devotionals for adults and kids, crafting queries and proposals, understanding contracts, building a web presence, and more.

Featured speakers of this conference include Marybeth Whalen of Proverbs 31 Ministries, agents Jenni Burke and Les Stobbe, editors Cindy Sproles and Terri Kelly, and authors  Michelle Buckman and Jill Roman Lord,  just to name a few.

So if you have a budding author in your family, consider having him or her attend a conference like Write2Ignite! I’ve attended the past two conferences with my children, and we all came from it inspired, encouraged, and ready to write!