Sherwood Park, AB. — More than 400 young artists and writers are opening up their imaginations and drawing on their creativity for the 32nd annual Young Authors’ Conference on April 15.

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 encourage students.

“The Young Author’s Conference celebrates literacy,” says Heather Balog, the event organizer for the Young Authors’ Conference. “It shows students that reading, writing and illustrating are not simply words and pictures on a page—these letters and drawings have lives of their own and can impact who we are and who we become. Young authors all hold the next generation of stories in their hearts and are eager to learn the different ways they can tell them.”

Highlights of the 2023 Young Authors’ Conference include a diverse and talented group of presenters. Leaha Atcheynum will speak about storytelling through an Indigenous lens, while Mike Boldt, Gary Delainey, Lisa Lypowy and Gerry Rasmussen will discuss various illustration topics. Marty Chan, Judith Graves, and Gail Sidonie Šobat will have sessions focused on horror stories, whereas Jonathan Ewing and Amelia Newstead will illuminate writing for the stage and screen. Mandie Frey will teach about the power of poetry and Gord Steinke will showcase the wealth of interesting tales to be found in Canadian History.

Additionally, Sigmund Brouwer, Tyler Enfield, Rita Feutl, Joan Marie Galat, Jacqueline Guest, Kathy Jessup, Tamara Martin Spady, and Karen Spafford-Fitz will all touch on several storytelling tips and tricks, from immersive world-building to realistic dialogue. Many sessions also include imaginative exercises to inspire young authors in their own literary pursuits.

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 and Sobeys-Nottingham. More information about the conference is available at


Elk Island Public Schools is one of Alberta’s largest school divisions, serving approximately 17,460 students in 43 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.



For more information contact:
Laura McNabb, Director, Communication Services, EIPS 780-417-8204 cell 780-405-4902