Sorry, but I don’t know yet. It doesn’t matter to anyone who didn’t enter the writing contest, but to Mrs. Beard’s 7th grade students, it could be the start of a writing career, or at least the start of an interest in writing to further another career. There’s no doubt writing skill betters a person’s chances of doing well in most jobs. In fact, many jobs require writing on a daily basis—some more than others. At a local middle school’s career day, an accountant said a large part of his income depends on his writing skills, not his math skills.
This year I’ve had great fun at middle school both reading seventh graders my book and teaching them writing in return. While my biggest concern was increasing their interest in reading my book, underlying that concern was increasing their interest in reading, period. Without developing an interest in reading, it’s a sure bet no one would develop an interest in writing. To me, the world always would have seemed a sad place without good books to read.
Now, I’ve added writing to my idea of a fulfilling day. I hope Mrs. Beard’s 7th graders make the same transition, but if not, I hope they’ve learned to stretch their imaginations enough to enjoy reading as recreation. What other hobby can be so educational and fun while taking you worlds away without leaving the planet? Don’t say movies without realizing that most of those originated as a book, and all as a written screenplay. Anyway, wasn’t the book better?
Next week, I’ll announce the winners of the Emerald Coast Writers’ contest for students. As of now, I don’t know any student’s name. I avoided finding out who did or didn’t give each chapter of my book a positive review on purpose, so the students who didn’t like it wouldn’t be afraid to tell me the worst. With the end of school next week, I can find out who really won the chapter reviews and also announce the writing contest winners by name.
There’s no doubt I won too—a great opportunity to work with Mrs. Beard and her students. I will be forever grateful. Someday I hope to recognize the name of one of these current 7th graders as the author of a book I want to read. I expect it’ll be better than the movie.