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Elise Broach and a student.

Lower School students received a treat last week--the chance to learn about writing from an accomplished author.

Elise Broach came to campus from October 2-4. During those three days, she made presentations to grades 1 through 6, and she gave students individual help during workshops. She also checked in on classes to offer even more tips.

Ms. Broach has written 23 books that have been published during her writing career. But one message she wanted to get across to students is that, while writing is fun, it takes time and hard work. Her first book, Wet Dog, was accepted for publication in 2000, but did not come out until five years later.

“It is perseverance that is the key to great writing," Ms. Broach said.

Students listened and absorbed that lesson. 

“You can't give up what you're doing," said Miles, a first grader.

On her final day, Ms. Broach worked with the two youngest grades. Good books need interesting characters, she said, asking them to create their own. Elephants, foxes, and unicorns were just a few of their ideas. 

Next, the students gave their characters names. “Ella The Doughnut" and “Melvin The Monster" were two that impressed Ms. Broach.

Characters face problems, the author said. One child invented an owl who couldn't fall asleep during the day.

“That is a great problem!" Ms. Broach responded.

Last, the character solves the problem, she continued. The students readily offered imaginative scenarios. One character whose balloon sailed to space recovered the balloon by leaping off a trampoline high into the sky, grabbing it, then pulling it back down to the ground.

“That is a great story! Did everyone hear how complete it is?" Ms. Broach said.

At the end of the workshop, the students thanked the author, who applauded their creative energy. “I hope you will keep working on your stories," she said.

Micah, another first grader, planned to do that and more. He was hooked on writing.

“I just had fun," Micah said. 


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