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Dear Teachers, Librarians, Principals and PTA members,

I would like to come to your school and with small groups of 20-30 students in your 4th through 12th grade classes, do a presentation called “Write Your Own Fairy Tale.” In this presentation, I talk to students about the path to becoming a writer and the persistence needed. I show them my books and talk about how writers are always reusing material and that we all do this to “get started,” without the anxiety of a blank page staring at us.

Then I have the students choose a fairy tale for us to rewrite as a group. There are as many different forms that this rewriting might take as there are groups of students that I work with. I get every student in any classroom excited about writing by getting them involved and making them laugh. This is a truly unique experience for them and for me. I never know which fairy tale we will make new or what twists and turns will happen along the way!

After we have written the first little bit of this fairy tale as a group, I send students back to class to finish in whatever class time the teacher chooses to give them, or at home for homework. The teachers need not do more than offer reminders and, after a week, send me all the copies of these original fairy tales by mail. I will personally read and comment on them within another week’s time.

Then I will return to the classroom and talk to the students about revision. I bring with me actual manuscripts with my editors’ red marks so they can see what it is like for a professional writer to get criticism (believe me, they see a lot fewer red marks than I usually do, even at the end of a project!). Because I have a rule for young creative writers that I only offer questions and positive feedback, students remember writing as a positive experience and tend to be more willing to take chances and give more of their true selves in their future writing.

The cost for these presentations is very reasonable, only $150 per class for both sessions or $300 for two classes (further discounts available for more presentations). The payment is usually made by the school’s local PTA or by available grants. I think you will agree that this would be a valuable addition to your curriculum and an unforgettable experience for your students.

I am available most weekdays and am booking school presentations for the fall now. Contact me at mette@argonautfilms.com

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Copyright Mette Ivie Harrison 2007 all rights reserved.
Last revised December 24, 2007.