Sherwood Park, AB. — More than 400 student writers and artists will master the art of storytelling at the 2018 Young Authors’ Conference this Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018.

The Young Authors’ Conference is a long-standing collaborative event that welcomes students from both Elk Island Public Schools (EIPS) and Elk Island Catholic Schools (EICS) for a fun-filled day of storytelling. Throughout the day, students hone their skills in writing fluency, idea generation, illustration, expression and communication. Participants are grouped into two streams—grades 4 to 6 and grades 7 to 9—and attend three breakout sessions led by professional authors and illustrators who share their knowledge, industry know-how and life lessons to both encourage and inspire students. 

“The power of stories is one of the most important engines we have to drive literacy and new ideas,” says Heather Balog, the event organizer for the Young Authors’ Conference. “They inspire us, motivate us, challenge us and help us understand the world around us. The goal of the conference is to show students the power of storytelling and help them build their skills in that area so they can apply them in their everyday lives.”

Highlights of the 2018 Young Authors’ Conference include a number of returning authors and artists such as Lorna Bennett, Laura Comfort, Rita Feutl, Joan Marie Galat, Judith Graves, Colleen Heffernan, Tamara Martin Spady, Gerry Rasmussen, Duanne and Darcy Jahns, Lorna Schultz Nicholson and Karen Spafford-Fitz. Additionally, a number of nationally renowned artists are also slated to present including Mike Boldt, Sigmund Brouwer, Marty Chan, Natasha Deen, Gary Delainey, Jaqueline Guest, Gail Sidonie Sobat and Gord Steinke. And, new to this year’s lineup, Elder Wilson Bearhead.

"EICS is so excited to work with our school partner EIPS in hosting the Young Authors' Conference," says Rita Astalosch, the EICS conference liaison. "By showcasing literacy and the amazing benefits that are developed in all of the various literary forms, we can open a window of opportunities and success for our students."

The Young Authors’ Conference is an inter-division event sponsored by EIPS and EICS. Special thanks to the organizing committee, volunteers, presenters and sponsors—EIPS, EICS, Sherwood Staples and Sobeys-Nottingham. More information about the conference is available at

Representatives of the media are invited to attend the 2018 Young Authors’ Conference to learn more.

2018 Young Authors’ Conference Details:
Date: Feb. 24, 2018
Time: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Location: F.R. Haythorne Junior High; 300 Colwill Blvd., Sherwood Park


Elk Island Public Schools is one of Alberta’s largest school divisions, serving approximately 17,150 students in 42 schools. We are proud to be an integral part of our communities, including Sherwood Park, Fort Saskatchewan, Vegreville, Strathcona and Lamont counties and the western portion of the County of Minburn. To learn more visit


Elk Island Catholic Schools, part of Alberta’s publicly funded education system, is committed to developing educational opportunities in the context of Gospel values. EICS is dedicated to providing quality, faith-based learning environments to students of any background and faith, where their skills are nurtured and celebrated by dedicated, caring staff. To learn more visit



For more information contact:
Heather Balog, YAC event organizer, EIPS, 780-417-8167
Laura McNabb, director, Communication Services, EIPS 780-417-8204 cell 780-405-4902
Susan Johnson, Communications, EICS, 780-449-7487