Thank you to Krissy Dietrich Gallagher for sharing this article about the Young Authors Conference at
Fairfax School is filled with published authors.
During the month of May for the first ever school-wide Young Authors Conference, more than 350 students from all grades levels wrote, illustrated and bound their own works of fiction.
Organized by parent Krissy Dietrich Gallagher with the help of ’s Amy Rosenbluth and Cynthia Larsen, all English language arts classes spent several weeks brainstorming story ideas, writing drafts, and working with partners and volunteers to revise and edit. Students submitted their drafts to an army of volunteers, who typed the work. All students now have a typed and bound book of their own creation. Even the covers were handmade in art class under the guidance of teacher Ms. Friedland.
At the culminating assembly on May 31 with children’s author and Cleveland Heights resident Tricia Springstubb, several brave students stood up to share excerpts from their stories. First grader Spencer Imka (pictured) read several pages of his tale about the alien pirate Zartog’s search for treasure. Most of the first grade classes wrote pirate stories, as evidenced by their About the Author photos complete with pirate hats and eye patches.
Mrs. McKinley’s second graders were instructed to use non-human characters which prompted one student to write a camping story from the point of view of a terrified marshmallow and another, Braedan Gallagher (pictured), to write a baseball story featuring a ball who complains about getting hit all the time.
Some of the stories took a much more serious tone. Fifth grade students combined their language arts and social studies instruction to write historical fiction set during the American Revolution. And fourth-grader Alicia Criado wrote a beautiful and moving tribute to her former teacher, the late Ms. Alberts, who passed away unexpectedly in March. Copies of Alicia’s story are being sent to Ms. Alberts’ surviving family.
Several parents have reported how proud their children are to bring home their stories and read them aloud. One mother placed her son’s book on the “author shelf” in their home, reserved for books written by friends and colleagues.
As Mrs. Gallagher said to the students at the final assembly, “whatever else you do or don’t do with your lives, you can always know that you have written a book.”