One of the joys of being an author of children’s books, or in my case so-called young adult novels, is that I get invited to give presentations to school students. I write adventure novels and I always seem to get a lot of interest in my stories when I present them before an audience of grade 5 to 9 students.
Last Thursday and Friday (Jan. 31 & Feb. 1), I presented four, one-hour workshops to grade 5 and 6 students at the Edmonton Centre for Education (students came from schools in the city centre). Story Avenue was sponsored by the Young Alberta Book Society. Now, one hour is not a lot of time, especially to get students writing, but we (myself and other authors and illustrators for young readers who also presented) succeeded remarkably well. I boiled down my 2 to 2-1/2 hour workshop, focusing on a specific writing technique and keeping my examples to a minimum. The result? I was surprised how much enthusiasm I saw on the young faces and how much writing many of them got done in the very short time I gave them to start a story. Some were the start of some very interesting stories.
The result for me is that I have renewed my faith in the need for people to tell and write stories. People, especially young people, crave both the need to learn more about the world around them and write what they know about the world around them.
Now as writers, we have to figure out how we’re going to get stories to young people in the new-technology future and how we can keep these young people interested in writing.
So what’s wrong with that?