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On Thursday, October 4, middle school students at North Chatham School participated in a workshop on the writing process with author William Hill. He will be at Horton Middle School on Friday, October 5.
Hill is an author from Lake Tahoe, Nevada, who has been a guest speaker at Perry Harrison School as well as Horton and North Chatham. He has family in the area and schedules school visits for his visits to North Carolina. Hill began working with students at North Chatham over ten years ago as a guest author for a Young Authors event. The annual countywide Young Authors program allows students to write books that are evaluated and entered into competitive events.
The middle school workshop focused of tips for writing. Hill stressed the importance of words and vocabulary in the writing process. He used the analogy of color when speaking about vocabulary, relating a large box of crayons to having many words versus a small box of crayons to color with or few words to choose from. A writing recipe had the ingredients of characters, setting, theme, plot, tension or suspense, mystery, and pacing. Hill interspersed magic tricks throughout the presentation. The students were involved in the workshop as magic trick assistants and in brainstorming interactive exercises during the multimedia presentation.
"Good writers are supposed to show and not just tell," commented Hill on his use of magic tricks.
"I think stories are an important way to communicate and it is important to know how to read them, write them, and understand them. I like to catch students' attention before they may become adverse to writing or feel they are not gifted writers. Everybody is creative; it's just a matter of being able to bring it out," said Hill.
Hill writes books for young adult audiences. Among his ten books are Dragon Pawns, The Magic Bicycle, and The Vampire Hunters. All are published by Otter Creek Press.