Picture this: You’re an English major who wants to be a successful writer someday, and you find out that an award-winning author is going to be teaching your class for a day. What would you do? More importantly, how awesome would that be?
That’s exactly the situation I found myself in just a few weeks ago. My Young Adult Fiction Writing class was given the incredible opportunity to have a guest lecturer, acclaimed Young Adult author A.S. King. We had been tasked with reading one of her books over the summer, Ask The Passengers, and then had the opportunity to read and analyze another book of hers, Still Life With Tornado, in class.
Let me tell you, there is nothing cooler than being able to pick the brain of an author about a book of hers that you really enjoyed. In addition to giving us tons of helpful writing and editing tips–most of which encouraged everyone to find their own methods of writing and editing, which is the only real way to do things–we were given the opportunity to ask questions about the books themselves. It was so refreshing to get some of your most burning questions about plot and characters answered, and you’d be surprised how many little Easter eggs there are about her own life in her books!
My favorite part of the lecture was just how personable A.S. King is. As an aspiring writer, I was super nervous about sitting down with such an accomplished woman whose books have won multiple awards, while all I had was a notebook full of scribbled stories that I couldn’t jot down fast enough as my brain exploded with ideas. But talking to her made me feel like we were on a more equal field, and she didn’t talk down to me because she was in a place of success that I haven’t yet reached. She was sweet and kind and super funny the entire time, and it was definitely my favorite day of school so far. She told us stories about her own life and her struggles with the publishing process, and hearing how she overcame all of her obstacles encouraged me to charge headfirst towards my own.
I am so grateful to be going to a school that gives its students incredible opportunities such as this one. I really learned a lot from A.S. King’s visit and as an English major and aspiring writer, her lecture was just what I needed to get back into the swing of writing and finding my passion for my talent once again.