One of my favourite things to do is create dilemmas for my characters, and I’ve found that writing a book is a lot like working out a Choose Your Own Adventure Story. In this workshop, students will learn how to put characters into conundrums and dilemmas, and how to get those characters out of them. Using an interactive “pick and play” style, students will develop their story to be the most exciting version of itself. Discussion and time for questions will follow. This presentation can be tailored to be a hands-on workshop for smaller groups. (90 min)
This is my standard school presentation. I talk about how I loved to write, but often came up against a serious case of writer’s block in school, and how I tried to solve the problem. I touch on how I use inspiration from my own life and the lives of others around me to craft my novels and find humour in tricky situations. Writing in a different format, using emails, texts and class assignments, is one of the unique aspects of my novels, and this presentation will cover how this style of writing can help develop unique character voices. At the end of the presentation, depending on the size of the audience, I’ll lead the students in a short activity that shows how one or two words can spark the beginning of a whole idea. Discussion and time for questions will follow. This presentation can be tailored for small or large groups. (60-75 minutes)
The Arthur Bean series is told through class assignments, emails, texts, newspaper articles, and more. I’ve found that telling a story in a different format can make the story come alive. So let’s get into characters’ heads. What texts does a girl send to her secret crush? What kind of journal entries would an aspiring evil wizard write? How can email connect two characters on opposite sides of the world? We’re going to let the readers fill in the story!
In this workshop, I’ll describe how I used alternative narratives to find my characters’ voices, as well as discuss the pros and cons of setting limitations in how you tell a story. Following a presentation, students will create their own characters using emojis, and develop them from there. This workshop is hands-on, and works better with small groups or in classrooms. (60-90 minutes)