I have had the amazing opportunity to encourage and share my story with many students in Indianapolis and the surrounding areas. I've met some incredible young writers and been completely amazed by the patience and kindness of many teachers. However, my fondest memory is still the very first visit-- my first appearance as an author.
I opened my mouth and started telling them my story. I explained that, though I have never been the best student, I have always loved stories. My goal since childhood was to share my own stories with other people through writing. I recalled how my short stories evolved into chapter books, and I entered my book, Journey to the Homeland, into a book competition. Most importantly, I told them I was really a very ordinary person—my parents aren't publishers and I've never had any special tutoring. If I could write a book, they could all follow their dreams, too. The words spilled out a bit quickly, but I was growing in confidence. I talked about the importance of setting high goals and sticking to them. Before I knew it, it was question and answer time.
The kids bombarded me with questions. They wanted to know my favorite character in my book. They wanted to know if there was going to be a sequel, or, better yet, a movie! I assured them there would be no movie, but a sequel was in the making. One girl told me about a story she was writing, which sounded like it would put mine to shame. They were all so interested in what I had to say, I couldn't believe it. My nervous doubts were long forgotten and I sat there chatting (or that's what it felt like, really) for another twenty minutes.
This certainly wasn't my best presentation ever, but I learned a lot that day in my uncle's classroom. I knew from that day forward that kids really looked up to me. A few weeks later, I received an email from one student who was inspired to write her own story after listening to me. I realized that my visits can make a difference in the students' lives and possibly encourage budding writers to pursue their dreams
Glad to hear you overcame your nerves and enjoyed the presentation, Hannah!
Visit Hannah's website HERE.
Kim Norman, Virginia
JACK OF ALL TAILS, Dutton, June 2007
CROCODADDY, Sterling, May 2009
I KNOW A WEE PIGGY WHO WALLOWED IN BROWN, Dutton, 2010
TEN ON THE SLED, Sterling, 2010