Tuesday 26 February 2013

Author Visits DO Make a Difference

Yup --  there weren't enough black letters "o" to go around, but even then I smiled happily when I saw the sign.  It wasn't just outside the school, it was at the entrance to the town itself.  This was an entire community that supported literacy.

Do author visits make a difference?   Do they truly encourage readers and writiers?  Over and over I have been told "yes!" by teachers, librarians and parents.

But the real proof happened last year when I received an unexpected e-mail.  A student who had grown up in a community very much the size of the one above, a location  I had visited 20 years ago, was writing to tell how well she remembered my author visit.    She remembered that I hadn't just shared my success, I'd shared my failures too....the number of times I rewrite, the times my stories are turned down, And she remembered how much I still loved (and still DO love) the creation of  stories.

On that day, 20 years ago,  she had decided to become an author. Today she was writing to tell me she had just signed a contract for the publication of her own very first novel.  

Author visits DO make a difference but it takes teachers, librarians, parents and supportive community members to make them possible.  Thank you literacy lovers everywhere!

Saturday 23 February 2013

How Authors Sometimes Travel

I'm going through past school visits to get photos for a new home page (coming soon at www.hazelhutchins.net....but not there yet!). I'd forgotten how many times those visits included smaller communities with limited access.  Flying in little airplanes sometimes feels like riding in an eggshell with wings!  This is from a trip to outlying areas around Lake Winnipeg, Manitoba.