You know who you are. The Carriage House Gang from Barrington Hall, Roswell, Georgia. The adults and many, many children of my years at the Margaret Mitchell House, Atlanta. All the way back to my actual first writing students, the students of Adamsville Junior Senior High, Adamsville, Tennessee who spent their homeroom in a crash course essay seminar I taught in the library. Are you all listening?
Thank you. All of you. I "remembered" this past weekend (via a Facebook post from a former student) that some of you in the seminar also served as first readers for my very first (and very unpublished) novel. I was thrilled when you won those essay contests. In return, your enthusiasm for my own writing encouraged me that maybe, just maybe I could be a writer.
My years at the Margaret Mitchell House taught me how to critique and edit on the fly, since each one week camp (or five week workshop) would publish (desktop) an anthology of their work for them to take home. Each student had to produce at 3-5 pieces of work, no more than ten handwritten pages.
Sounds manageable enough until you realize that I had to have the work by Wednesday afternoon, and then had 24 hours to edit the work of up to 22 4th through 9th graders...who were used to working on computers and not-so-used to writing long hand.
My current students at the Barrington Hall Young Authors Camp have helped me rediscover the joy of words. In a more focused group (no more than twelve students, grades 4th to 9th) we are able to walk around town (Roswell is a small, but historic town, home to Teddy Roosevelt's mother), observe, investigate the historical sites, and contemplate how history informs our lives and stories.
I hope all of you have taken something away from our time together. But whatever you may have gained from me, know that I gained ten times more from you. Thank you all.
Posted by mary ann rodman
Reminder from Carmela: We hope some of you will join us in this series of Two Weeks of Thanks-Giving posts by posting a thank you note on your own blogs. Comment with a link to your post and we'll include it in a roundup on November 29, the last day of our series.