Yesterday, we listened to a lot of Bruce Springsteen during the three-hour drive home from telling some wonderful librarians about our young adult fandom group, Grey Havens YA, and our relationship with Longmont Public Library. I was in the passenger’s seat so I decided to look up novelist Nick Hornby’s essay on Springsteen. It contains this thought about works like Springsteen songs and Hornby novels that are condemned by critics because of their popularity: “…sometimes it’s hard to remember that a lot of people liking what you do doesn’t necessarily mean that what you do is of no value whatsoever. Indeed, sometimes it might even suggest the opposite.”
At Grey Havens YA, we know that being loved by many does not make something trivial. The things is to love what you love but also engage with it critically. As geeks and nerds, that is what we do. We can love art celebrated by millions, like Star Trek, and art that is so obscure you probably haven’t heard of it. What do you think?
Robyn Bosica is the volunteer Co-Director of Grey Havens YA and currently resides in Frederick, Colorado. Robyn has been working with young adults in community events, theater programs, and service trips since 2008, and she is thrilled to be a part of a group as awesome as Grey Havens YA. For her work, she received the City of Longmont’s 2014 “Make Time for Kids Award” last November. Robyn holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and Writing from Towson University in Baltimore, Maryland. Her particular interests include creative nonfiction, science fiction, and the intermingling of literature and identity. An avid Tolkien-fan from the age of eleven, Robyn seeks to encourage the next generation of young adults to follow their nerdy passions and engage in the kind of world-building imagination that shines light into life’s darker moments. Robyn blogs about those moments, along with faith, grief, and beauty at her personal site, Chased by Light.
Robyn Bosica will be co-moderating a panel on Grey Havens YA and youth in nerd culture. Under her direction, Grey Havens YA will also present a series of Fandom Classes, a fandom-themed skit and a cosplay fashion show. The fashion show is open to all ages you can sign up here. Here is a brief description of the youth panel.
In October, 2013 the Grey Havens Group launched its young adult chapter, Grey Havens YA, a creative group for students in grades 6-12. These self-proclaimed young geeks and nerds meet once a week to discuss science fiction and fantasy, to work on creative projects, and to talk about what it is like growing up around muggles. Grey Havens YA has adopted as its slogan Wil Wheaton’s declaration that “being a nerd is not about what you love; it’s about how you love it.” At this panel, moderated by Co-Directors Robyn Bosica and Kelly Cowling, you’ll get to hear from the members themselves about what it means for young people to have a place where they never have to be afraid to show their enthusiasm for reading, critical thinking, and all things “nerdy.”
If you’d like to know more about Grey Havens YA’s impact before you come, check out this story by one of our members and this essay from one of our parents. You can also visit the testimonials page on our website.
At every Grey Havens and Grey Havens YA meeting, we are fortunate to have many artists in our midst. One day, I hope to catch up on scanning and posting at least some of the amazing pieces of art that seem to magically appear during our book discussion meetings. Here are just a few from last week. If you attend one of our upcoming events, such as our Blind Date with a Book Fundraiser or our Real Myth and Mithril Symposium, you will be able to take home an original doodle by a GHG artist as a thank you for a small donation.
What a deal! You can support the GHG mission and take home a tangible example of how a talented artist creates. Here are a few doodles from last week’s meetings.
Detail of an Unfinished Doodle by Donna Clement at Grey Havens Meeting
Do you recognize the ship and the magnificent bird flying out to meet it?
Detail of Dragonrider Doodle by Devon Towry at Grey Havens Meeting
Elf Doodle by Devon Towry at Grey Havens Meeting
A Dragon Proclaims its Love of GHYA by karinasaib at YA Meeting
We would love to see this on a t-shirt! Wouldn’t you?
A Grey Havens YA member reminds her friends to live long and prosper!
You can help the Grey Havens Group and Grey Havens YA to live long and prosper with your donation and by attending our entertaining and enlightening events, such as the Real Myth and Mithril Symposium in April, 2015. Register for the symposium before April 15 to receive the Early Bird Special!
Visit our site again for a glimpse of a beautiful, new Tolkien-inspired piece by artist, Dan Hollingshead, and for more artwork from our young members at greyhavensya.com. As a bonus, here are some photos to give you an idea of what happens when we let our YA members express themselves on a white board!