For a PDF of this page click WRITING WORKSHOPS SCHOOL VISITS.
“As a visiting instructor and a seasoned veteran of the world of writing and publishing, Heather Wright spent some very constructive time with several grade 11 ENG3U classes at Ridley College last fall. She engaged the students with her understanding and instruction of how to naturally integrate the use of dialogue in short stories. What stayed with me, their teacher, with regard to Heather’s lesson was also her ideas concerning how students handle character: ‘The sooner we get to know your character, the sooner we get to care for him/her.’ Good advice, indeed. Heather’s short story workshop was excellent and very beneficial for all our budding writers.”
Andrew Leach, Ridley College, Holder of the Cronyn Chair
“Heather Wright is an expert in her field. Her writing workshops for students are informative and engaging. She truly understands teen writers and their unique needs. Highly recommended.”
Christy Giesler, Former Teen Services Librarian, Kitchener Public Library
NO ONE LEAVES WITHOUT A STORY 40-60 minutes Grades 3 to 12
This workshop guarantees that every participant will leave with some story ideas and perhaps even a beginning or two. Using a variety of writing starters, participants will fill up their creative reserves with hands-on brainstorming and creativity. This workshop can be used as a beginning-of-term blast into creative writing or to energize a mid-term slump or to tie in with other subjects such as social studies or literature.
GREAT BEGINNINGS AND THE HERO’S JOURNEY 60 minutes – Grades 7 to 12
Good stories need two things—a beginning that captures readers’ attention and a plot that keeps readers turning the pages. Students will learn what makes a story opening work and how to build a great story around the hero’s journey plot plan. They’ll also find out how many of their favourite stories already use this well-known pattern.
WHAT DO WRITERS DO? 40 to 60 minutes Grades 3 to 12
This workshop concentrates on the writing process. Using concrete examples from my own work and that of others, I demonstrate the various routes that authors take to complete a finished product. Topics include brainstorming, drafting and editing, finding markets, working with editors, meeting deadlines, and the many ways writers earn money when they don’t write the great Canadian Novel.
ONCE UPON A TIME–HOW TO WRITE FAIRY TALES 40 to 60 minutes Grades 4 to 12
This workshop uses class interaction and special writing prompts to introduce the patterns that writers over the centuries have used to build fairy tales. Students will begin creating their own characters and writing their own stories.
HE SAID. SHE SAID.–WRITING GREAT DIALOGUE 40 to 60 minutes Grades 7 to 12
This hands-on workshop equips writers with techniques for creating “fat-free” dialogue that develops characters and moves the plot along. Participants will write two unique scenes of dialogue by the end of the workshop. This is a challenging and instructive workshop for students, grades 7 and up.
MAGAZINES, BOOKS AND EBOOKS, OH MY! INSIDE THE WORLD OF PUBLISHING 60 to 70 minutes Grades 11 and 12 Writer’s Craft
This workshop is for senior students who want to know how to get their work published. Along with providing useful links to websites that specialize in publishing work by teen writers, the workshop also explains how writers work with magazine editors, what a vanity press does, how writers work with agents and traditional publishers, and how writers self-publish their books.
With nearly 20 years experience as an English teacher and an ongoing writing career covering web writing, feature writing, writing for industry, and writing for children, I bring a unique voice and background to your students. I want to help students reach their writing goals whether they are writing mystery, fantasy, SF, fairy tales, poetry or literary fiction. I am a supportive and encouraging mentor who likes to raise the bar to encourage excellence and pride in the final product. For locations less than 60 minutes from Kitchener, I am happy to work face-to-face with your students to launch the program, provide some mid-project, on-site incentive, and host an end-of-session showcase event. For locations outside of that range, the program can be organized through Skype and Google Hangout, or extra fees can be arranged for mileage and accommodation, if necessary.
FOR TEACHERS AND PARENT TEACHERS
THE WRITER IS IN THE ROOM: TEACHING AND EVALUATING CREATIVE WRITING – Teachers & Home Schoolers for Grades 5 and up – 90 minutes
Analyzing and discussing a short story (introduction, inciting action, rising action, crisis, falling action, conclusion, characters, five types of conflict, etc.) are not the same as helping students write a story or evaluating it once it has been written. This workshop helps teachers look at stories from the writer’s point of view to find out what young writers need to know to help them write better stories and how to grade the final product in a way that takes the subjective out of the process.
For further information, please contact
Heather Wright BA, BEd, Hon. Spec. English
Member: Canadian Authors Association, CANSCAIP, SCBWI