October 12, 2020
By Rachael Blaine '21
This summer, Victoria DiMartino ’21 kept herself busy by serving as a mentor for the Vermont Young Writers Conference. Together with three other student mentors, DiMartino formed the VYWC Student Writers Group, an online group for conferees to connect and engage with one another.
The VYWC is a summer camp for writers in grades 8–12. “I actually was a conferee back in high school,” DiMartino, a creative writing major from Levittown, New York, explained. “After I graduated, I was able to continue being part of the conference as a mentor.”
Because the conference itself takes place over just one weekend, the VYWC Student Writers Group provides a larger sense of community that spans over multiple generations of participants. It also allows them to stay focused on writing through writing prompts and other inspirational materials.
“Because this year’s conference was fully virtual, we were worried that students would become bored or disinterested,” she said. “So, a few other mentors and I started to work on the group.” In addition to writing prompts, the group also hosts a weekly livestream for mentors to connect with conferees.
Although DiMartino is unsure where her career path will lead her, she admits to learning some valuable skills through her time as a mentor at the VYWC. “What this group has really given me is a chance to step up and be a leader. I struggle to connect and teach people younger than me, so I think that this group has helped me work on that skill especially,” she said.