Award-winning author Hena Khan visited with Lower School students on Tuesday, March 28, providing many valuable tips about story ideas, becoming a writer, and the writing process.
Anyone can be a writer, Ms. Khan explained, showing one of her “Khanicles," a family newsletter she penned as a child as evidence. Her love for writing stemmed from childhood trips to the library, where she chose a variety of books to read.
When she started her own family, she took her son to that same library and decided she wanted to become an author, focusing on books that teach about her family's heritage - she is Pakistani and was raised in the Washington D.C. area.
A message that she emphasizes throughout her writing is that “at the core we are all pretty much the same."
Students were well prepared and excited for Khan's visit. They studied moon cycles, which are highlighted in one of her books, and they created art inspired by her writing. They tried different foods, another prominent aspect of her writing.
During two presentations, one to grades 1-3 and another to grades 4-6, Khan offered them several pieces of advice on writing. Among them:
- Don't be afraid of a blank page
- Stories don't have to be about big topics; exciting stories can come from everyday life
- Anyone can be a good writer, but you need to practice, practice, practice
- Don't be afraid to write about things that matter to you; look to your life stories
After both presentations, Ms. Khan answered questions from students. She also imparted her knowledge during an afternoon workshop and at lunch with the Lower School student council. Students are even more eager now to get their pens and pencils busy!