Vail Academy 6th Grade Creative Writing Visit!

Posted   |   Written by Patrick Tylee

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Yesterday was so cool!

It was an honor for me to accept an invitation to speak at the 6th Grade Creative Writing Class at the Vail Academy & High School. To look across the room at the twenty-five young authors was a real treat.

Really, really! And very, too!

They were all so receptive and kind. I felt quite welcome.

They hit me with a dozen or so questions about writing, publishing and who my favorite author is…

I told them the story about when Ray Bradbury was their age and was touched on the nose with an electrified sword held out by the ‘Great Electrico’ at the carnival. From that day forward, he wrote constantly for the next sixty-nine years.

PT at Vail Academy 08112015We discussed strong descriptors and how to weed out the ‘really’s and the ‘very’s; to replace them with words that show the details of the scene.

One of my favorite moments was when I asked the students to describe a classmate’s long, black hair that had burgundy highlights. A boy in the back said, “Her hair is like cherries.” Perfect. I encouraged them to think big; that if they could fit their potential story in their head, then the story wasn’t big enough.


Their dear teacher, Ms. MaryBeth Runyon, arranged for the class to use one of my mid-grade manuscripts as an editing and annotation project. We handed out copies of I Was a Foster Kid on Mars along with some instructions on how best to beat on it. I couldn’t be more pleased to have two-dozen editors to dig into Foster Kid. It ought to shine when they’re through with it.

Can’t wait to see the acknowledgement page on that one!

I’d like to thank: Kayla, Ashley, Ashlynn, John,…

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