task. One year ago, an idea came to me after chatting with a friend about her daughter's interest in writing stories. As simple as any other idea might have
presented itself, my only reaction became, "What do I have to lose?"
Little did I know that I would someday find myself teaching this idea to young people around the New England area, smiling as they took with them the lessons that I have learned since becoming a writer...
As a project that began "literally" out of my house, the first official
writing workshop was offered as an after school program for Boston elementary
students. The program was initially designed to strengthen and excel writing skills for children from the ages of five to eight through creating their own books complete with original storylines and illustrations. Classes included
the implementation of brainstorming, eye catching drawings, About Author pages,
dedication phrasing and clever front cover layouts. Taught through the experience of a children's book author, students would become engaged in not only writing stories that they desired to read but would tighten their own English skills in the process by planning plot outlines and developing characters. Children could also gain the experience of learning how books were put together within the publication
industry, giving them a higher confidence in their capabilities
towards becoming authors...
necessary step in converting my idea into a realty was to find others willing to participate in a trial run. After completing and designing a lesson plan that I scribbled on a yellow pad of
paper, I began searching for students by contacting my son's elementary school,
asking if I could promote my new endeavor with a send home flyer.
Thankfully, the administration agreed and two weeks later I anxiously
awaited to see if I would gather anyone at all. I did. My first class took place on a Monday afternoon at the dining
room table, seated by six children including five of my son's kindergarten friends. I learned how to reorganize an entire course out of the time I spent with those kids and am so grateful to both them and their parents for giving me my first chance at teaching. I truly believe that we never really know the full circle of our adventure
until we take those chances that seem out of our reach, out of our believed
character or even out of our pre-planned paths...
Workshop has been adopted by schools in the New England
area as after school programs and Special Guest Writing Courses. Within the month of December, I will be visiting classrooms, hopeful to pass on my passion as an author to young writers through teaching the many different components of book graphics and composition. Target age groups have expanded to include children from the ages of six to twelve which has made the course flexible, reaching a wider bracket of students. Although classes
still include original stories and
artwork, other areas of discussion now
include publication tactics of
packaging and cover letters, intending
to further aid their success and
education about the literary industry.
With every visit, I hope not only to
teach a deeper appreciation for
creative learning projects such as writing books, but to also continue the gift of the compelling magic of
storytelling that one writer can pass on to the next.