Colleen Nelson

Colleen Nelson is the author of YA fiction books, ‘Tori by Design’ (Great Plains, 2011), ‘The Fall’ (Great Plains, 2013), ‘250 Hours’ (Coteau, 2015) and ‘Finding Hope’ (Dundurn, to be released 2016). ‘Tori by Design’ was nominated for the Saskatchewan Young Reader-Willow Award and won the 2012 McNallyRobinson Book of the Year for Young People Award. ‘The Fall’ was nominated for the Ontario Library Association’s 2014 White Pine Award, listed as a CCBC ‘Best Book for Teens’ and won the 2013 McNally Robinson Book of the Year for Young People Award.  A middle grade teacher for many years, Colleen currently works as a Teacher-Librarian and Kindergarten teacher. Colleen has lived in New York and Japan, but happily calls Winnipeg her home now.

THE PROGRAM

Every Child is a Writer

As an author and teacher, Colleen understands the challenges that arise when teaching creative writing. Colleen will work with the whole class to develop a ‘class story’ with all the elements of good fiction: plot, character, setting, theme and conflict. Students can develop this story (which is helpful for reluctant writers), or work on one of their own. The only caveat is that whatever problem is created, must have a plausible solution. Other areas, like dialogue, character development, point of view and rich language choices will also be discussed. Once the students have completed a draft of their story, Colleen will work with them in small groups to bring out the best in their work. Good writing requires editing, a time consuming task. Colleen will help students to see the value in revision and how to work with their peers to make their writing better. Colleen is available for short-term sessions, but would most enjoy connecting with a class for a year-long period.

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