Sunday, May 16, 2010

The end of the Writer In Residence adventure: Roots and Wings

Thank you roses WIR Hillfield

When all was said and read, they gave me roses.

Truthfully, I didn’t need any token of thanks – the experience of working with fifteen gifted young writers was thanks enough.  And hearing them present their stories with poise and professionalism in front of an audience of parents, teachers, school administrators and peers was inspiring. 

It had been an eight-month journey which began with a getting-to-know-you afternoon (we called it a “writers’ sweatshop”), continued with one-on-one feedback, lots of emails, and a session devoted to fine-tuning (e.g. “show, don’t tell”) – or nudging and tweaking, as I like to call it.

The final step was our evening of readings.  The study room was transformed into an elegant theatre, with tablecloths, centerpieces, soft lighting and vases of pink roses on every table.  Just like a “real” authors night!  In fact it was a real authors night, and as their companion on this journey, I was so very proud of what we accomplished together.

I believe that education gives us roots; education in the arts gives us wings.  The world needs people who can fly, and my young writers are well on their way to soaring.

And…they gave me roses!

 Jean Mills, Writer

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