Wednesday, April 14, 2010

School Talk: Jess M. Brallier

Students at my school (K-12) had a great experience today, hearing from Jess M. Brallier (author of Tess's Tree and involved in the publishing of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, among many other things).  This was the culmination of our first Author Illustrator Competition, where kids school-wide wrote, illustrated, edited, designed, and produced books.

Very interesting to hear from "someone on the inside" here in our little school.  I loved the beginning, when he introduced the concepts of publisher, author, and reader - especially since our students are deaf and very visually inclined.  As publisher, he wore a smart blazer and coordinating hat, very sophisticated.  As author, he wore a scary-loud plaid jacket with a fur-lined cap.  As reader, he was a regular guy wearing a baseball cap.

After setting up two volunteer students as the author and reader (on opposite sides of the stage), he explained a publisher's role as getting the author's work to the reader.  He did a great job explaining how this could involve getting it physically from the author's cabin in Wyoming to a bookstore in New York, or getting it translated into Chinese, or getting it published online.

The best part was knowing how huge this was for at least a couple students who I know want to become writers.  Thanks to this, they know more about the process than I did at their age.  I think all the students gained some insight into where books come from and how much goes into it.

Interesting note: The student who asked the most (and some of the best) questions was a self-confessed non-reader.  I wonder if she was just curious because she knows I'm in the process of trying to get published. ;-)

Anyone else have interesting experiences with school talks by authors (either giving or seeing one)?  This was more the publishing perspective, but what other information about writing do you think would benefit students?

No comments: