St. John's students attend writing conference


Shrewsbury -? Two rising seniors,? Owen Adams of Upton and Mano Sundaresan of Shrewsbury were selected from a highly competitive pool of aspiring young tenth- and eleventh-grade writers from all over New England and some mid-Atlantic states to participate in the 30th New England Young Writers” Conference (NEYWC) at Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vt.? this past May.

Admittance to the conference is competitive. Each school can nominate up to five students to attend, though only two students from any one school are admitted. This is the second time that two Saint John's students were accepted.

The two students were nominated by English teacher Diane Mulligan, who runs the Worcester County Young Writers Conference each spring at Saint John's. Small groups are moderated by successful poets and writers, a rotating crew of mentors that changes from year to year, and teachers with attending students participate in their own workshops.

Adams reflected on his experience of meeting other young writers and accomplished adult writers.

“Writing is important to me,” he said,” because it allows for the expression of creativity and the sharing of ideas…there are so many genres and possibilities. It is important to me that there are events like the NEYWC so there can be a new generation of thinkers and artists. It was incredibly inspiring to go to the conference because it not only made me feel excited about my future writing but also because I will get to see these people my age develop into accomplished writers.”

Sundaresan, who has been heavily involved as a reporter for the Saint John's Red & White student newspaper, is passionate about the written word.

“On its most basic level, writing is communication. But writing is also a means of preserving knowledge, emotions, and culture,” he said.

“What struck me the most about the NEYWC was the environment there – people of different backgrounds and views with a common love for writing placed in front of an absolutely stunning backdrop. It was one of those experiences that cannot be put into words – by even a creative writer,” he added.