In collaboration with Kyle Zimmer and First Book, an organization that has placed over 170 million books into the hands of children in need, and with the cooperation of my publisher, Abrams Amulet, I've created an original 12 step writing workshop with 32 prompts based on key phrases from my new middle grade novel, THE GIRL WITH MORE THAN ONE HEART. The model may be applied by educators using ANY book in a classroom or after school setting and students too can create their own prompt cards from any book they’ve read and loved using the #BeYourOwn method.
My mission is to foster the craft of storytelling and the spirit of open inquiry and self-discovery through creative writing as well as to offer a platform for the sharing of stories. I bring to this effort forty years of experience as the author of over twenty books for children, and as the publisher of the award-winning imprint, Laura Geringer Books.
I've taught the #BeYourOwn writing workshop in public and private schools, libraries, and children’s museums in many states from New York to Illinois, from D.C. to South Dakota as well as in non-profit venues like Girls Write Now and FosterPride. In partnership with First Book, I have offered it as a resource tool to teachers around the country. I've been moved to tears by some of the unique and deeply stirring tales my students have read aloud using my prompts as inspiration. I ‘ve found the cards particularly effective with young people who have experienced grief or trauma. I was privileged to hear Michelle Obama speak at ALA New Orleans about the need to hear one another’s stories at this challenging time in our nation’s history when it’s so important to keep in mind our common humanity. I hope to do my own small part to encourage diversity vs. isolation and to fan the spark of empathy vs. fear in the minds and hearts of our children through the #BeYourOwn method of Storytelling from the Heart.
Kyle Zimmer, CEO, President and Co-Founder of First Book, an internationally recognized non-profit that champions educational equality, is my partner in this endeavor. By signing up with First Book, teachers of children in need in under resourced communities can benefit their students, classrooms and communities by becoming involved in First Book’s efforts to foster a love of reading and writing. Registering with First Book entitles educators to receive free downloads of educational tools including the 12 steps and 32 prompt cards of the #BeYourOwn writing workshop.
Your story is yours to tell. There is only one person who can tell it—YOU! #BeYourOwn!