Today the "rubber hit the road". During the morning two groups traded workshops between our visiting authorsTom Monteleone and Paul Wilson, while two groups met with myself and 9th - 11th English Teacher Kristen Kinner. During my workshops, students were offered the chance to critique each. Students visiting with Tom and Paul were encouraged (by me) to take notes with an open notebook placed on each desk with this friendly bit: "take notes, or die!"
After our lunch break, we met back in my room from 1:00 - 1:30 for a bit of debriefing, so students could clarify any lingering questions they had from the morning's workshops. This proved slow going at first, either because Tom and Paul had done their job so well my students had no questions or simply because of fatigue. Eventually, we eased into it, clarifying matters on the use of passive voice, what POV (point of view) was, and other things.
At 1:30, Tom Monteleone addressed my Creative Writing class and a larger assembly of students, sharing his personal experiences in the publishing industry: how he got started, made his first sales, acquired an agent and climbed the ladder. He answered questions about the submission process for short stories, what editors are looking for in stories, and his own personal writing habits.
In the evening we had a small, intimate (in other words, not many folks showed up) gathering in our school cafe. This actually proved to be a plus, because several of my Creative Writing students and parents where able to interact with both Tom and Paul in a very conversational, informal manner. Basically, we hung out and chatted about books, writing, schools, and Cthulhu.
Tomorrow's weather predictions notwithstanding, we're hoping for another great day of workshops, capped off with a presentation by Paul Wilson on his writing career.