Author Sara Francis Fujimura wrote in to tell us about the great time she had organizing a special Rock the Drop workshop in her hometown! Along with Shelley Coriell and Amy Fellner Dominy, middle school and high school students participated in a bevy hands on, interactive writing exercises.
Here's what Sara had to say about the day:
Amy did 2 warm-up exercises. Shelley did a workshop on characterization. I did one on plot and one about writing stories to music. All of them were hands-on and interactive, and the teens appreciated that.
What made this writing event a little different than other community ones was that I relied on the teens, specifically my JH/HS-level Girl Scout troop, to help me run the event. I wrote the scripts, but the girls (and 2 brothers) welcomed everyone to the event, introduced all the speakers, invited people to refreshments, collected & facilitated the redistribution of books, & gave out the door prizes. All I had to do was teach my workshops and give a few directions, the girls did all the rest from set-up to tear-down. Thankfully, our troop has done several events like this in the past, so they were able to pick up the ball and run with it with little notice. We had our snacks donated by the community. For fun I printed out some literacy statistics on labels and attached them to the water bottles and snack bags before the event. Kids Need to Read in Mesa donated several autographed books as prizes, and I added a few Starbucks and Barnes & Noble gift cards. Cassandra Clare was in Phoenix last month, so I had her autograph CITY OF BONES for me as a grand prize. Some of the teens brought extra books to donate. The other books I picked up at our local library, were donated by KNTR, or were donated by friends and family.
One of the biggest positives about doing this kind of event is that teens who come are there because they truly want to be. Amy was able to get the crowd warmed up and sharing very quickly. The momentum kept going all afternoon, which was amazing.
Amazing, indeed! Thanks so much for sharing, Sara! And thanks for supporting teen literature and rocking the drop with the readergirlz!