Visiting author encourages young writers at Waynesville Middle

By Richard Ploch | Nov 20, 2013
Photo by: Richard Ploch Author John Thompson autographs his book for Waynesville Middle School students Izzy Ball, Virginia Fry and Megan Planchock.

When author J.E. (John) Thompson came to town last week at the invitation of Blue Ridge Books in Waynesville, he was also invited to teach a writing workshop to 75 interested students at Waynesville Middle School.

Rose Torda was inspired by his visit and afterward told the author, “It was so much fun and interesting — I loved every minute! Thank you so much for coming.”

Students filled out an application to attend the workshop set up by the school’s Media Coordinator Karen Kreitzburg. When the day arrived, most had already read Thompson’s recently published first novel for children "The Girl from Felony Bay" and brought their copy of the novel for him to autograph.

Using an informal, personal approach, Thompson began by asking students for plot lines of stories they were writing.

Hands shot up all over the room. As he moved among the promising writers, he then took their story ideas, congratulated the students for their imaginations and then shared ideas on how their story could be creatively expanded. More hands shot up.

“It was super inspiring and fun and made me feel like I really wanted to do lots of big and important stuff with my life,” said Kayden Cox. “I can do whatever I want as long as I keep trying. I can touch the stars. Thank you, Mr. Thompson for inspiring me so!”

Thompson, who spent 25 years as an investment banker before becoming a writer, lives in Charleston, South Carolina not too far from the bays and plantations that inspired "The Girl from Felony Bay."




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