Giving Directions: Writing a “How-To” Essay

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By Jennifer Swanson Directions. We follow them every day. Some of them are things we’ve just learned to do. But other directions need more explanation. How do you ride a skateboard? Or make cupcakes? You read the directions. A How-To” essay is simply an article that tells people how to do something. But are reading […]

Naming Characters

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By Sophia Mallonée- The names of your characters are just as important as the characters themselves. What’s in a name? Names can give the reader an idea of the background of your character, the location (where in the world) they are from and a sense of the character’s overall identity. A memorable character, usually has […]

Coach: Sophia Mallonée

Sophia Mallonee

Sophia Mallonée (pronounced mal-o-nay) is a former artist’s agent, mother to a daughter (and two crazy dogs), wife to a photographer, music lover, obsessive reader and lifelong writer. She grew up playing in the freshwater springs and forests of northern Florida, where she now resides once more after traveling and living throughout the country. Though […]

How To Hook Your Readers

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By Brian Reynolds- Hooking the reader’s attention is an important part of good writing. If you can’t quickly gain a reader’s interest, why would they bother reading the rest of your work? The best writing manages to grab readers immediately before it can enjoy the freedom of entertaining, sharing its message, informing, or otherwise fulfilling […]

Coach: Brian Reynolds

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Brian Reynolds is an author living in Kansas with his wife, their two dogs who think the family is a pack, their two ferrets who have an eternal but clumsy vendetta against feet, and their giant rat who is content quietly judging all of them for their ridiculous behavior. He wishes to spend the rest […]

Student Work: Summer Camp 2014

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It’s time to celebrate! You all did a marvelous job at KIDS ARE WRITERS Summer Camp. I am so proud of all of your efforts. The  following pieces of work were either submitted for publication or were found in the comment sections after the prompts.  Please take the time to read and comment on one another’s […]

Story on a Roll

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By Michelle Lynn Senters- Coming up with ideas for a fiction story can be difficult. Today, you will play a game to help generate ideas. ACTIVITY GAME:  Story on a Roll NEED: paper, pencil, die (If you don’t have a die, you pay use playing cards #1-6 OR write #1-6 on small pieces of paper.) PREPARATION: […]

A Love Story

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By Michelle Lynn Senters- Writers use “love” as a central theme in many stories because it is a common human experience. Think about ways in which you have seen or experienced love. What have you learned? What is important to you? What does your heart long for? ACTIVITY Explore the photos below. How is love shown in each […]

Laughing with Charlie

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By Michelle Lynn Senters- The legendary Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977) rose to fame during the silent film era as a comedian, actor, and filmmaker. 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of “Tramp”, a screen character created by Charlie. ACTIVITY Watch the following clip from Charlie’s 1936 film, “Modern Times” and choose one or both of the activities […]