monique polak

Monique Polak's Books

2 minutes reading time (494 words)

First of Two Visits to Royal Vale School -- I'd Call it a Success!

I was happy to get an invite to do two writing workshops this winter at Royal Vale School. Not only because my daughter is a Royal Vale graduate, but also because the school is around the corner from where I live -- BONUS!

I was there this morning, working with Miss Bennett's two Grade 10 English classes. I must say the time passed super-quickly. I just hope the students had as much fun with me as I did with them.

Today, I focused mostly on writing tips and a mini-writing exercise. When I'm back in two weeks, I'll finish up the tips, tell a story (or two... I'm kind of addicted to telling stories!!), and then we'll focus on a longer writing exercise.

In case you are wondering about today's pic... that's me and a student named PATRICK. Perfect name, of course, for St. Patrick's Day tomorrow. And Patrick was even wearing his green Dallas Stars T-shirt -- not to mention the Irish clover sticker on his forehead. And you know what else? Patrick happens to be IRISH. I think someone needs to write a St. Patrick's Day story about Patrick. Hey, Patrick, you should probably be the one to do it! Don't forget to add TROUBLE, the not-so-secret ingredient that makes stories tasty!

A student named Kayla stayed after class to tell me she has wanted to be a writer since Grade 3. I asked whether she learned anything new from me, and she said," I knew I had to do research, but I didn't know how deep I had to go." (This came, I think, because I told the students that in order to write my novel Straight Punch, I took boxing lessons for three years. I even demonstrated a straight punch!)

In the second  group, I tried a writing exercise I have done with my own students. I asked the class to close their eyes and imagine the book they wish they could read. (This exercise was inspired by author Sophie Kinsella, who told me she came up with the Shopaholic series because those were the books she wished she could find at a bookstore.) A student named Adriana gave me permission to share the blurb she would find on the book she most wanted to read. She even came up with a great book title: Not So Ivy League. Here's Adriana's blurb: "Ever had the feeling everyone was out to get you? Well that's exactly Lily's problem. She may have gotten into her dream school, but something just isn't right." CREEPY, NO? PLUS, DOESN'T IT MAKE YOU WANT TO READ ADRIANA'S BOOK?!! ADRIANA, GO FOR IT!!!

I'm off now to teach my own students at Marianopolis. Thanks to Miss Bennett's classes for getting my day off to a lovely start, thanks to Miss Bennett for your enthusiasm and for sharing your students with me, and thanks to the NDG Community Council, especially Sharon Sweeney, for making today's visit happen.


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Writers Writing -- Day 2 at Royal Vale School
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Friday, 19 August 2022

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