by Donald LaBranche
The first principle is this: when they walk through the door, take them seriously as writers. Every decision I make will have to grow out of that ground. Purple hair, ukuleles, gothic jewelry and clothing, surly expressions on the face one day and sweet dispositions the next…take them seriously as writers. Whatever it is, writers are just like that.
I’ve been teaching this Young Writers/Young Readers class (Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror) long enough so that I have a process that more or less stays the same. I ask myself the same questions every year. Whose fiction should I read so I can renew familiarity with classic stories? (Mary Shelley) Whose fiction is on the cutting edge of what is being written say, in the last 3-5 years? (Ann Leckie) Also, whose work about the craft of writing will benefit my students by learning and practicing what they have to say? Finally, I want to look at student work from the last couple of years in some detail to discern what it is they can do well and what I need to help them do better.
That’s it. That’s the plan as it looks in mid-April. Read more