Last Friday, I did a young writers’ workshop at the New York Society Library, a beautiful and historic library that also happens to be my revising home-away-from-home.
(Here’s a presidential-history tidbit about the NYSL: Our Founding Father George Washington was a patron, but he didn’t return one of the books he checked out. When his Mount Vernon estate replaced the copy 221 years later, the library waived his overdue fines.)
Back to my workshop: Twenty creative and talented young writers came to hear me talk about writing fascinating people (like Alice Roosevelt) and famous places (like the White House). I showed them some research pictures, we played some writing games like Historical Figure Hotseat to get in the zone, and then we wrote scenes set in historic places, events, or periods, using lots of sensory details and cool facts.
One of my favorite parts of being an author is getting to talk with kids about books and storytelling. I always go home inspired by the curiosity and creativity of young writers. And I learn new things, too–about what kids love to read, and even about history. (Thanks to the great story one attendee wrote, I’ve been inspired to learn more about Deborah Sampson.)
Thanks to Carrie Silberman, Randi Levy, Susan Vincent, and everyone at the NYSL for having me–and most of all to the kids who came to write with me!