Writing for Charity

A little while ago, I posted about the Writing for Charity Event at the Treehouse Children’s Museum in Ogden, Utah.  I was invited to take part in the workshop as a debut author, and I think I was the “newest” writer at the event.  It also happened to be my first time participating in something like this as a presenter, rather than an attendee.  I didn’t really feel like there was much of a difference between me and the talented writers we were presenting to, but I had a wonderful time.

I got to participate in a big group panel, and then a smaller session with Emily Wing Smith, Sara Zarr, James Dashner, and Wendy Toliver.  After that, I guided a critique of first pages with several soon-to-be-published writers.  I was quite impressed with the quality of storytelling in those pages (like I said, not much difference between me and them).  I hope I said some helpful things.

As a fundraiser, the event was very successful.  The museum raised $8,000, which will be used to put books in the hands of kids, and Deseret Books donated a sizable portion of that.  As a workshop, the feedback from attendees was very positive.  The mood was light and supportive, and everywhere there was a real sense of community.

Some highlights:

1 – Getting a cool mini harmonica from the Treehouse Museum.  It’s what their volunteers wear.

2 – Being introduced by Shannon Hale.  Shannon Hale! (She’s one hilarious MC)

3 – Using a commonly accepted expression for bad first drafts, which contains a swear word, in front of a group of attendees, getting some laughter and also possibly scandalizing the grandmother of one attendee.

4 – Seeing my friend DaNae there, who bravely stepped out of her comfort zone and brought her picture book manuscript for critique.  Go DaNae!

5 – Assisting Brodi in reenacting the time a woman hit on her at the SCBWI conference in LA.  You see, Brodi was dancing at the Blue Moon Ball and… wait, you know what?  She tells it much better.

6 – Having dinner afterward with a group of writers I admire, and realizing that I’m pretty lucky to be a part of this community.

To cap things off, here’s a picture that was taken of all the presenters.

photo credit: Gailon Tucker

photo credit: Gailon Tucker

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6 Responses

  1. Look at you standing there Iike, “I could pull Jessica George’s hair at any moment, and Brandon Mull is standing in my shadow.”

    Thanks again for the push. I still have whiplash.

    Reply
  2. Awesome recap, Matt. And I loved that you said the s- word. It’s so descriptive, and one of my favorite chapters in Anne Lamott’s “Bird by Bird”.

    Now… Dance, Matt. Dance like the wind!

    Reply
  3. Ah, but remember, Brodi:

    “I’m not your monkey!”

    Reply
  4. Sarah

     /  October 8, 2009

    I can not tell you how jealous I am that you met Shannon hale! Have you read forest born yet?

    Reply
  5. Not yet, but I plan to soon.

    Reply
  1. 2010 Writing for Charity | Kirbside

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