This week I had a fantastic first. I did a webcast with aspiring first- and second-grade authors at a Jewish day school in the Philadelphia area. We talked about how an author gets ideas from things they see every day. The children had prepared questions like “Were you always a author?” and “Why do you like being an author?”
They also showed me their “heart maps,” where they wrote down things that were most important to them as a way of brainstorming for the books they will be writing in the next few weeks. I thought it was a very clever approach to the old adage, write what you know.
While I wasn’t actually in the room, we had a great and engaging conversation. I thought being on a screen would be limiting, but it worked out really well. I think we all took something away from the class, and I can’t wait to see how their stories come out.
This was the second school program, I’ve done recently. Just last week, I had a great afternoon with the students at a Jewish school in Morristown. I was thrilled by the enthusiasm of the kids and their great questions. My favorite was did I ever give up and not finish a story. (There was a long, long answer to that one and a good idea for a blog down the road.)
What was really interesting was that students from both schools had the same question -- how did you make the picture on the cover and can your next book have pictures inside? Well, I’m not sure about the pictures inside, but I did tell them that the cover was made by a fantastic artist named Dena, and I have no idea how she did it. (I have absolutely no drawing skills.)
If you’d like me to come in and meet with your students and talk about how a writer gets their ideas, how to use words to say what you want the reader to see and more, please let me know.
Writer, Editor and Author of the Achdus Club novels for girls.