I’m involved in the Writers’ Federation Writers in the Schools (WITS) program, and it’s been a huge part of my writing life over the past two years. I visited Bayview Community School in Mahone Bay on April 24th and Dr. John C. Wickwire School in Liverpool yesterday.
Usually during school visits, I read Rainbws in the Dark to the younger students, but recently I’ve been reading excerpts from A Hare in the Elephant’s Trunk, and I’m happy to say it’s been well received by the Grade 5 and 6 students I’ve visited. Yesterday, one class was particularly enthusiastic, and I had several questions re when the book would be published, where they could buy it, etc. When you spend so much time writing and researching in isolation, it’s a wonderful feeling to get some positive feedback from readers (or potential readers). Thanks so much to those students and teachers for their support!
I’ll meet my mentor, Gary Blackwood, on Thursday when I’m in Truro for the awards ceremony for the Ada Mingo Teen Writing Competition. I feel like there isn’t a lot more I can do with the manuscript, but as I told the students, I haven’t yet read through it without making several changes – until I can do that, I won’t really feel like I’ve given it all I have…But I do feel as if I’m getting close to that point.
I can’t imagine writing for young readers and not participating in school visits. Even though I work in an elementary school four days a week, it’s not the same as being in a school as an author. WITS is such an incredibly valuable program – thanks to Jane et al at the Fed for all the hours they put into making it happen every year!