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Author Kate Klise Offers up Writing Tips to Hutchinson Students

The Missouri-based author spends the day workshopping with students eager to learn from one of their favorite writers

As author Kate Klise shared writing tips and passed around some childhood photos on Monday, students were shocked to learn that the scribe penned her first story when she was about their age.

Klise, author of such children’s books as “Regarding the Fountain” and “Stand Straight, Ella Kate,” addressed all of Hutchinson’s students on Monday morning and conducted an intensive writing workshop with the fifth grade class in the afternoon.

“It's all about sitting in the chair, finding complete quiet and getting your ideas to come out," Klise advised. "You don't have to make everything up. Use stuff from your own life.”

After having read and enjoyed “Regarding the Fountain,” the fifth graders were so eager to meet the writer that they wrote her an email requesting that she pay a visit. The Missouri-based author was so moved by the students' words, that she accepted the invite.

Klise started off the day with an interactive presentation, where she shared some intimate details of her writing process. The author showed pictures of rough drafts and scribbles and notes from a few of the books she has published.

“It is amazing how Kate Klise showed the students her rough drafts and how she has so many tips for young writers,” beamed Jeanmarie Ward, a parent who played an instrumental role in getting the author to come to Hutchinson. “We are so happy to have her here.”

After the assembly, the fifth graders got their creative juices flowing. The students bounced ideas off of Klise and she helped them organize scattered thoughts into a cohesive story.

The author explained how, as a kid, she was inspired by everyday happenings. Klise was once motivated to write a haunted, scary tale after having walked by an old, spooky house when she was a child.

Klise also shared some other key writing tips:

  • If you want to be really good at something, don't let your feelings get in the way if you stumble
  • Begin your stories with a problem
  • Send your character on a journey
  • Have your character return "home" but with new persona

Perhaps, her most applicable tip was to “just be quiet and write.” Klise encouraged the students to turn off email, television and music and simply sit in silence to get their ideas onto the paper.

"Whatever kind of books you like reading, that's the book you should begin writing-- whether it’s sports, letters, cookbooks, journals, anything,” remarked Klise.

For more information on Kate Klise, click here

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