About an hour ago, I finished my second of two speaking appearances at elementary schools. Yesterday, I spoke to a group of fourth graders and today to a group of third graders. First, I spoke to them about the writing process (Prewriting, Drafting, Revising, Proofreading, and Publishing) and engaging them in an activity that I called Worldbuilding with Jeremy Rodden.
The first day, I was very nervous because I wasn’t sure how receptive the students would be. I was astounded by how many questions they asked about the process: everything from “where do you get your ideas?” to “do you make any money writing?” Throughout both days, I was bombarded with questions from these eager minds. I couldn’t believe that they were that into the process.
When we moved onto the Worldbuilding activity, wherein I asked them to create their own world like I did with Toonopolis, then try to convince others to want to live there, I was even more blown away. While 20-30% of the worlds involved food of some kind (usually candy), some of them came up with amazingly original ideas. I met a few future fantasy writers, that is for certain! One little girl was already working on her novel and I can’t wait to read it. She has some phenomenal original ideas that even adult fantasy writers wish they came up with (like me!).
I can’t wait to start contacting more schools where I can do appearances. I think I was just as energized by conversing with these youngsters as they were by having a published author talk to them. Maybe I convinced a few of them how great writing is. At the very least, I know I was able to keep them engaged for an hour or two and get their minds working at creative worldbuilding. I want to talk to more kids. I hope some of them got something good out of it… but I know I did.