I have been a classroom teacher and teacher-librarian at the elementary school level since 1994. I love sharing my books and talking about the writing process with students from K-8.
Here are some workshops I have given in the past. I am also happy to tailor a workshop to the needs of your school and students.
K-2 Where do authors get their ideas? (primary) (30-40 minutes)
Kids often have trouble finding topics for their writing. In this workshop, we’ll look at my picture books, Mountain Machines and Sounds of the Ferry, and I’ll talk about where my ideas for the books started, and how we can use our interests and surroundings as a jumping off point for writing.
2-3 Buzz, Splat, Thunk: Using onomatopoeia to liven up your poetry (60 minutes)
In this interactive workshop, we’ll work together to write exciting poems using onomatopoeia, or words that sound like the action they describe. We’ll use Sounds of the Ferry as a starting point to think about the sounds we hear around us, and turn those into fun poems to share.
2-4 What does every story need? (40 minutes)
Every story needs three things – a main character, a setting and a problem. Using Slug Days as a starting point, we’ll talk about these three things and work as a group to create story starters of our own.
2-4 I know that place! (40 minutes)
A strong sense of place is a theme that runs through all of my books. I live in the mountains, and spend time on the coast whenever I can, and both make their way into my writing. In this author talk I’ll discuss Jake Reynolds: Chicken or Eagle?, the writing process, and how I used events and locations from my own life to add exciting details to the book.
3-5 Tell us about your special place (60 minutes)
Using drawing and writing, children will learn to describe a place that is special to them, whether it is a close as their classroom or half-way around the world. We’ll talk about using telling details, the five senses, and strong language to bring our descriptions to life.
4-5 Where do authors get their ideas? (intermediate) (40 minutes)
Everyone has a story, and authors draw from all parts of their lives (and sometimes those of their friends), to write a book. In this workshop I’ll describe where the ideas for Count Me In and Warm Up came from, and how I used bits and pieces of experiences from throughout my life to write these fictional stories.
I am also available to teach writing workshops to community groups, at writer’s festivals, or to critique groups. Past workshops I have offered include:
* Writing Picture Books: A four-week course during which students learn about the picture book writing process and write a draft of a manuscript themselves.
* Critique Groups: How to begin, maintain, and get the most from a critique group.
* Writing for Children: Learn what makes a good children’s book, special hints about the publishing process in the children’s lit world and how to take your writing to the next level and get it noticed by publishers.
* Improve Your Writing: Ten useful ideas you can use to make your manuscript shine.
My Clients and Hosts Have Included
* Southpointe Academy, Delta, BC
* Christianne’s Lyceum of Literature and Art, Vancouver, BC
* Whistler Readers and Writers Festival, 2008-2017
* Whistler Public Library
* Pemberton Public Library
* Canada House, Olympic Winter Games, 2010
* Signal Hill Elementary School, Pemberton, BC
* Brackendale Elementary School, Squamish, BC
* Garibaldi Highlands Elementary School, Squamish, BC
* Mamquam Elementary School, Squamish, BC
* Myrtle Philip Community School, Whistler BC
* Author in the Schools, Sea to Sky School District
To inquire about an author visit or writing workshop, contact Sara at 604 938 4230 or click here.