Sunday, March 30, 2008

Young Authors Conference

"On your marks, get set, WRITE!" For the next three minutes, twenty fourth-graders wrote, stopping only to shake the cramp from their fingers. Then they read aloud in pairs, and then they wrote again. We talked about what makes a good story, ways to structure writing, and of course, I told a couple of stories. We were all disappointed when we ran out of time.

Yesterday was the third time I presented workshops at the Fort Osage School District Young Author's Conference. I've done other similar events in other districts. Each has its own flavor but all are marked by incredible enthusiasm of the kids and their parents. They give up Saturday morning TV and soccer games to celebrate writing. Often the students dress up for the occasion. Proud parents and grandparents attend the event. The kids' writing is displayed on the walls of the school.

For that day, and maybe forever after, they are cool because they are writers.

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