This fall, Grade 11 English students had an opportunity to learn more about the writing process from Perth-based author Amanda West Lewis.
“She talked about what motivated her to write her novels and explained where she found inspiration,” said Grade 11 student, Aiden. “I particularly appreciated her description of how being a writer is like being a magpie, you steal bits of things from here and there and incorporate them into your work.”
Lewis explained her two novels of historical fiction. The first novel, September 17, is about a group of children who were being evacuated from England to Canada during WWII on a ship that was torpedoed in the North Atlantic. Her most recent novel, The Pact, was inspired by her husband asking their neighbour if he ever went to camp. He had—a Hitler Youth Camp. Lewis tells this story through the perspective of a youth recruit.
Aiden was “immensely pleased” to have the opportunity to listen and talk with Ms. Lewis. He noted that “her background in drama and theatre really stood out as she delivered the readings with true passion.”
After her reading, she did a writing workshop with potential authors and book club members. “Over cups of tea and hot chocolate, we created multiple stories based on pictures, and talked about good books,” said Grade 11 student, Melanie. “We have tips to keep us writing for years.”
“I really enjoyed having Amanda West Lewis visit the school,” said Aiden. “It has helped me further develop my writing skills. Opportunities like this help us dive deeper than the regular curriculum.” Melanie agreed that “it was quite enjoyable to see other students like myself, who enjoy reading and writing books, participate in these events.”