It’s a thrilling opportunity to spend time talking to students about writing. Recently, the 8th grade Language Arts teacher at Bluffton Middle School where I work, Cathy Micklitsch, invited me to speak to her students about the subject of writing and my writing career.
Caption: My new book from Purple Toad Publishing: biography of popular singing group and Nickelodeon comedy show, Big Time Rush.
I spent the day with her classes, showing them my 11 books and website and answering questions about what it takes to be a persevering writer and author. Here are my 2 newest books published by Purple Toad Publishing.
I told the students the training they’re receiving in school with due dates for assignments and listening to what teachers want included are all important for writers.
“I could not continue with my writing career if I did not meet deadlines or if I plagiarized or failed to include all relevant data,” I said. “That training will enable you to succeed no matter what career you choose.”
As ISTEP testing was looming the following week, I encouraged them to strengthen their essay writing skills by reading Chicken Soup for the Soul stories. As the author of five stories published in Chicken Soup books, I’ve begun mastering the art of opening with a strong lead and getting right to the point of the story, then wrapping it up.
Caption: I sold several stories to anthologies before writing my own books.
Bonus: Chicken Soup has several titles that pertain to teens, including one I wrote called ‘Teens Talk… Getting in to College.’ My story, ‘Endings and Beginnings’ relates my struggle when our son pursued being accepted into a military service academy.
At the end of the day I was exhilarated but tired —I didn’t know talking all day was so exhausting! It was well worth it. My goal was to encourage students to give more attention to the skill of writing and to consider it for a career. I think it may have happened as some students mentioned they were writing books now. Yay!
Caption: Mrs. Micklitsch is a fantastic teacher who inspires her students to excel.
Mrs. Micklitsch was kind enough to put some of her thoughts together about the day which are included here unedited:
“Thank you so much for spending the day talking to my 8th grade students about writing. We really enjoyed listening to your experiences that you turned into articles that you were able to publish.
What a wonderful way for my students to see that writing is something that can be more than just an assignment on a test for a grade.
I know that you touched several students showing them that their own writing can be rewarding in many ways.
You entertained, informed and educated everyone in the room.
I look forward to asking you back to my room next year, what I shame that I never invited you and your wealth of experience into my classroom before. Shame on me! Thanks so much for your time and wisdom.”
Teachers, could you use an author to speak to your students? I’d love to touch more lives about writing. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org (remove the X’s there to prevent spam)