It's official: all the information for the 2012 Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers Conference will be up on the website January 15th. I still can't tell you the rest of the faculty, but I don't see a problem with announcing what the workshop categories will be. Yes, as Kevin said, there will be a fantasy class. There will also be illustration, picture book, TWO advanced classes, a boot camp, paranormal, middle grade, intro to writing for children and intro for writing a novel, and writing an LDS middle-grade/YA novel. Stay tuned!
I had so much fun teaching my daughter's 4th grade class about writing. They actually paid attention. The teacher asked me to talk about similes and metaphors, and I gave them a trick to remember: Think "sim" for similar with "L" for "[object] is like [object]," and "Me" for becoming the thing as a way to remember metaphors. Not sure they all got the difference, but some of them did.
We also talked about the five senses, and I brought paper bags with objects to feel, smell, and touch. They liked that part, especially the smell (and taste) of peppermint-flavored candy kisses.
I had them do a writing prompt before leaving, and some of their writing was terrific. Their teacher asked me to get them ready to write about a favorite place. I told them it didn't have to be a big destination. I described my aunt's huge lilac bush with the child-sized cave beneath it, describing the smell, touch, and color of of the blooms. (I still love lilacs!)
One little girl raised her hand to share her favorite description. She not only used a correct simile, but I loved her image. So right now, although we don't have any real snow, here's our snowflake fish: She wrote of snorkeling in Hawaii, and how "the fish were like a blizzard of coral." Isn't that great? And no, it wasn't my daughter this time.
To follow up on my previous post, however, both of my girls are going to district with the Reflections Contest!
What is your favorite place, or what would your book character's favorite place be if s/he could describe it to you?