During the 2010-2011 school year I was the Author-in-Residence at the Julius E. Sprauve School in Cruz Bay, St. John in the Virgin Islands. I taught a creative writing course for 45 4th, 5th, and 6th graders, and a Gifted and Talented class. We did Character, Plot, Setting, Show Don’t Tell, and Dialogue workshops. I think everyone’s favorite workshop was a day at Trunk Bay where we focused on Using the Five Senses in our writing. Each student then had three, one-on-one sessions with me for the editing process.

At the end of the year we produced an anthology with 37 short stories written by the kids. Five students were selected to read their short stories at a Rotary lunch. A very big honor has been bestowed on three writers. Their stories were accepted by a magazine called Skipping Stones – A Multicultural Literary Magazine for Children.

Alyssa Paris from the 4th grade wrote “Chippey’s New Best Friend”, a story about a young blue beetle bug that goes in search of a friend. He eventually meets Juan the pelican and they have great fun together. Another 4th-grader, Kiarha Boynes, wrote a touching story called “Papa Do You Love Me More Than the Stars?” Kemisha Hobeb, a 6th-grader, wrote a fun story called “The Sunrise That Brought Carnival”. All three stories will appear in the September/October issue of the magazine. It was a great year.

We ended the year with a wonderful beach party at Lameshur Bay to celebrate our success. Thanks kids, for the hard work and all the hugs!