Marty shares the personal stories behind his novels to show students how their own lives can be springboards into great stories. He disguises writing concepts as interactive games that teach kids while they’re having fun. With over a quarter of a century of experience as a full-time writer, Marty breaks down the mystique of creative writing into practical ideas you can adopt and apply immediately.
Marty reveals the real-life inspirations behind his works, demonstrating to students that their own lives can be springboards into great stories. With humorous anecdotes, he ramps up the students’ excitement for reading his books.
Marty inspires kids to write with his fun-filled workshops. His writing games illustrate key concepts in a way that will engage even reluctant students. With a combination of personal anecdotes and interactive demonstrations, he shows how structure a story, flesh out a character or bring a setting to life. His cheat code for writing session is a crowd favourite both with students and teachers. In this workshop, he shares a simple and easy-to-apply formula to inject conflict into any story situation.
Over a 5-day residency, Marty inspires division 2 and junior high students to write suspense stories designed to scare their friends. The lessons will tap into the importance of details to make a scary story come to life. He reveals the key elements of thrillers.
Students will learn to write a short-short suspense story drawing on their own experiences. In-class activities and games will inspire imagination, teach writing principles, and provide students with the tools to become better writers. As well, Marty will offer in-class feedback on writing. At the end of the week, the students will have completed a first draft of their stories. Each group (no more than 30 students) works with Marty in 4 one-hour workshops.
*** Note: Marty can also offer a residency for division 1 students. He will walk the students through the basics of putting a story together. Using their own stuffies as the main characters of the stories, the students will build a story from beginning to end. Each group (no more than 25 students per group) will meet Marty three times for 30 minutes per session. He does not do writing workshops for kindergarten, but can offer a 20-minute author visit.
Marty offers a peek at the creative process and how to translate writing concepts for beginning writers. He reveals how he connects with kids and gets reluctant writers to move past the blank page. His cheat code session illustrates a simple technique to help kids outline a story without getting bogged down in the planning. His suspense-writing workshop breaks down the elements of a thriller. His theatre workshops reveal how stage plays and dialogue can help shape students’ understanding of voice.
Marty offers motivational keynotes about the impact of teachers and librarians on students as well as the power of story. Combining his self-deprecating humour and quarter of a century of knowledge about creative writing, he delivers entertaining and poignant speeches that motivate participants. He tells engaging anecdotes that illustrate the importance of story in our society. He can also tailor a keynote to your conference’s theme.