Tween Writers Wrap Up a Summer of Writing at Imagination Academy

  • by Susan Vincent Molinaro

    After a short break, Imagination Academy came together once more at the 67th Street branch for its final session of the summer. This week's focus was fiction and we had a great slate of local authors visiting and sharing their writing tips and tricks to spur the tweens on with their writing. From dancing giants to sneaky spies, the kids explored fiction that was realistic as well as magical and enjoyed it all.

    Betsy Bird reading with groupBetsy Bird reading with groupThe week began with Betsy Bird, NYPL's Youth Materials Specialist, who shared the story of the long road she had to traverse towards getting her first picture book published. She also talked about the various types of picture books available to the public. In the workshop, the tweens experimented with adjective enhancement and setting development, among other sure-fire story starters.

    Rebecca Stead's PresentationRebecca Stead's PresentationOn Wednesday, Newbery medalist Rebecca Stead talked about her childhood, spent growing up in New York City, has profoundly influenced her writing today. Many details in her books were snagged from her memories and also the neighborhoods around her. Stead got the tweens to work on scripting that all-important first line that successfully draws in the reader.

    Nora Baskin with classNora Baskin with class

    Stead's writing colleague, Nora Raleigh Baskin, also draws from childhood experiences in many of her books. Baskin shared some of these very personal stories with the kids on Thursday. She also gave the tweens her top five writing tips to insure that their stories would be rich, wonderful, and engaging.

    On Friday, we reached the final day of Imagination Academy. The kids spent the first part of the day-long workshop selecting and developing an idea for a story. Then, they created booklets in which to house them. At the end of the day, the tweens shared their stories about sunny places, talking animals, historical adventures, young rivalries, and more.

    Writers at workWriters at work "True Love Stinks!""True Love Stinks!"Nadia Reading her WorkNadia Reading her Work