Student writers win scholarships


Since 1999, the Whidbey Island Writers Conference has brought together authors, publishers and aspiring writers. The annual event has produced book contracts and writing careers.

And this year, thanks to a $5,000 contribution by a local donor, the conference is expanding its reach to an often overlooked group — high school students from Washington State Title I schools.

Kristin Fort of Pasco and DeSiree Pebeahsay of White Swan have been awarded special scholarships to travel to Whidbey Island this spring for the 10th annual Whidbey Island Writers Conference.

Each scholarship includes food, housing, travel and conference registration for the student and a teacher.

The students, who were chosen based on the merits of their writing, will attend workshops and author-led fireside chats in local homes, interacting with respected writers from across the country such as mystery, best-seller writer Elizabeth George, memoirist Maureen Murdock and award-winning journalist Erik Larson.

“We’re very grateful for this generous gift,” said conference director Pam Owen.

“We’ll do everything we can to make sure these young people have a wonderful visit to the island and are fully immersed in the experience of the conference,” she added.

The conference runs from Friday, Feb. 29 through Sunday, March 2.

For information about the Whidbey Island Writers Conference, including pre-conference workshops that begin Thursday, Feb. 28, visit or call the Whidbey Island Writers Association at 331-6714.

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