I just submitted a grant proposal to the Loft for publicity money for promoting Chasing AllieCat. Among other things, I asked for money to do free school visits if schools would purchase three class sets of books. I was looking for material to support the cause, and why it was worthy of grant money, and I found this letter than had been forwarded to me after a school visit last spring. This wasn inter-faculty, but it's something I'd better read regularly to keep me going!
"Last week we were incredibly fortunate to have author Rebecca Fjelland Davis visit our campus. This visit was incredibly potent on a number of levels. Our kids heard how much work and thought writing actually requires. When Ms. Davis said she often threw away ten pages at a time and wrote an entire novel over again, jaws dropped around the room, and a few kids actually started to believing what we say about revision. We couldn’t help but wonder: How do we create more opportunities for our kids to hear from people who are this passionate about their work?
Ms. Davis’s visit also brought together (thanks to Russell and Dobell’s planning) a group of young women from grades 6-11 into the same room. I am frequently saddened by the fact that many kids and teachers only know older students from the hectic moments of dismissal. In a seminar style format, sixth grade girls were able to hear ninth and tenth graders discussing literature instead of the mess they hear on the bus. They were able to see and be strong young women talking with a real author about social stereotypes and the challenges of changing friendships."