Author in Residence

My Author in Residence program lasts for a week or longer, allowing me to cover topics in much more depth than would be possible during a regular author visit. I can also work with the students on a specific project. Here’s an example of a week in residence, but I’m very flexible regarding your school’s unique requirements.

K/1/2 – Story Creation

This fun filled session session explores story structure relating to the creation of a beginning, middle and end. Using a series of seemingly unrelated objects, students participate in creating a story. Although this is done as a group, afterwards students usually want to expand the story we’ve created together and add their own illustrations. Some schools create their own books and design covers for them. These have often been displayed in the classroom or sent home to parents.

Grade 3 – The Fantasy Realm

In these sessions, we discuss the elements of fantasy and the many creatures and characters that inhabit the fantasy realm. In The Emerald Curse, the main villain has created monsters in his laboratory, combining some of the most fearsome creatures on earth. Most students are very familiar with monsters and strange animals from mythology, books and movies and really enjoy inventing their own unique mythological creature along with its powers, enemies, diet, habitat and the fantasy kingdom where it lives.

Grade 4 – Superheroes

In The Emerald Curse, a young boy is propelled into a strange comic book dimension to save his grandfather, the world’s greatest comic book artist and writer. In these sessions, we explore the superhero genre, before students create their own hero, complete with costumes, powers, secret identity, headquarters and archenemies. Students are also encouraged to draw their creation and some may even write a short story.

Grade 5/6/7 – Time Travel, Historical Fiction and Writing Strategies

The Heretic’s Tomb, The Sorcerer’s Letterbox and The Alchemist’s Portrait are time travel stories. These sessions look at where ideas come from, how writers turn them into stories, how history has served as inspiration for authors and filmmakers and the importance of historical research. Students invent their own time machine or device, paying attention to detail and authentic historical settings. We also explore how to write gripping fiction and cliffhanger endings.

Grade 8 – The Future is Now

The events described in The Clone Conspiracy may be science fiction, but cloning has become very much science fact in recent years. These sessions examine how much technology has developed in the last one hundred years, how the pace of change has rapidly accelerated in recent decades and challenges students to contemplate what types of technology we may expect to see in the century to come.

Grade 9 – People Plotting: Creating Memorable Characters

Without people there is no plot and characters are at the heart of any story. In these workshops, we explore where writers get ideas for the people in their stories, the many methods of creating strong characters and how to use descriptive language to build them. Students invent their own unique characters and also learn how to write effective and engaging dialogue for their creations.

The above scenario is merely a guideline for a potential week as an author in residence and I am very happy to discuss workshops that best meet the needs of the students.

Contact me directly for details of fees and availability for Author in Residence.