Kids’ Writing Workshop with Tracy Holczer

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On Friday, August 26, we had Tracy Holczer here at the Pasadena Public Library children’s story room to teach creative writing to kids aged 8-12. Tracy Holczer wrote the gorgeous middle grade novel The Secret Hum of a Daisy.

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We discussed lots of things: reading, how to write a good opening line for a story, and what things in our lives are most important to us.

She also told a great story about a Virgin Mary statue she believed strongly in when she was little, and the heartbreaking way she lost it. You have to watch it!

(sorry, our video title slide has the incorrect date)

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Tracy read the opening lines of various books which we randomly pulled from the library’s shelves. Tracy mentioned that her novel’s first line was not the very first sentence that she wrote–a friend suggested she cut her original opening up to that line about walking up to the coffin, and that became her book’s first sentence.

We did exercises about writing stories with random prompts and also about taking a boring sentence and making it an intriguing opening to a book. In the video above, two of the kids read their great stories based on the plain sentence Tracy gave them about someone walking across the grass. They took that challenge and ran with it, making it a scene of either suspenseful horror or exciting sports.

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Three of the kids got a copy of The Secret Hum of a Daisy, which we raffled off and which Tracy signed at the end. Every child who came got to take home a creativity kit made by Tracy: a box containing writing prompts, a notebook, inspiring pictures and other things to get them excited to keep writing!

Thank you so much Tracy for teaching this workshop! You are a total inspiration to the kids and to me!

Our next meeting of this group will be September 23rd at 4:30 pm. Call the Children’s Desk to register: 626-744-4066 option 4.

AnnMarie Hurtado

I'm a youth services librarian working in the Children's Room at the Pasadena Central Library. I purchase juvenile nonfiction books for all sites, juvenile Spanish books for all sites, and juvenile DVDs for the Central Library. I do a lot of programs with school-age kids, including Lucha Libros, writing workshops, STEAM Careers in Pasadena, and other STEAM/science programs. I teach 1-2 sessions of Infant/Toddler Storytime each year. I love what I do, working with kids of all ages to inspire them to learn and use their curiosity and imaginations. Outside of my work at the library, I am also the author of a book, 36 Workshops to Get Kids Writing: From Aliens to Zebras.

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