For the 13th Annual Elizabeth Anne Worsham Visiting Author Presentation, Lower School students of all ages had the opportunity today to hear from children's book author Kimberly Willis Holt.
Holt, who is the author of popular children's titles like Skinny Brown Dog, Dinner with the Highbrows, and Piper Reed: Navy Brat, told students she uses inspiration from her own life to create her stories. For example, the original book in the Piper Reed series, Piper Reed: Navy Brat, was largely based on her own childhood as the daughter of a military chief.
She explained how she is able to take her memories and use her imagination to fabricate new characters to give her own memories a twist, in order to build a story. Stories are made up of the characters first and foremost, and their ambitions, actions, and details. To demonstrate this, she had students help her create a story on the spot by pulling props out of a bag for the character and taking audience suggestions for their talent, interest, and other details. Their character, Oreo the dog who is a gifted opera singer and scared of snakes, was an instant hit!
Holt also encouraged students to "write about what you care about," which is a tactic she often uses when coming up with new book ideas, and the rest of the story will fall into place.
Thank you to the Elizabeth Anne Worsham Endowed Visiting Author Fund for this special opportunity to hear from Kimberly Willis Holt!
The Elizabeth Anne Worsham Endowed Visiting Author Fund was created in 2004 by Mr. and Mrs. Joseph I. Worsham II, friends, and family in memory of Elizabeth Anne Worsham '13. The annual Visiting Author Program encourages and supports a love of reading in children, so that they may carry that gift with them into adulthood.