Media Advisory: Wake Forest authors visit local schools to inspire young writers

Local elementary, middle and high school students will get writing lessons from a Newsweek book critic, literary insights from the bestselling author of The Secret Life of Girls and a hip-hop demonstration on Friday, March 23.

From a poetry slam at Carver High School to a science writing workshop at Paisley Middle School to a book club meeting at Cook Elementary School, 17 professional writers from around the country will engage Winston-Salem/Forsyth County schoolchildren in the world of writing.

The common thread:  Each visiting writer graduated from Wake Forest University.

The writers are returning to Winston-Salem for Words Awake! A Celebration of Wake Forest Writers and Writing to be held March 23-25. Alumni who are novelists, biographers, journalists, screenwriters, and poets will share their experience as professional writers during a three-day celebration of writers and writing.

Media is invited to cover the writers visiting schools. Here are some highlights:

Frances O’Roark Dowell, award-winning author of The Secret Language of Girls, Chicken Boy and several other novels for young readers, will meet with 5th graders at Cook Elementary to discuss her popular novel Dovey Coe.

1 – 2 p.m.

Laura Elliott, the author of young adult historical novels, including Under a War-torn Sky, A Troubled Peace, and Flying South, will talk with students at Northwest Middle School.

Blake Brandes is a rapper and beat boxer with a Ph.D.  Brandes explores the connections between language, identity, and hip-hop culture.  At Carver High School, he will lead a poetry slam in an English class, then speak and perform at a school assembly in the morning.

Newsweek book critic Malcolm Jones, a graduate of Reynolds High School, will return to his alma mater to meet with journalism and English students. Jones also writes for the Daily Beast. In preparation for his visit, students have read a Newsweek cover story by Jones called Lincoln v. Darwin and an article he wrote about J.K. Rowling.  10:30 a.m.

Writers will also visit several other schools:

Career Center (8:30 – 11 a.m.)

  • Elizabeth Norfleet, cookbook editor (meeting with culinary classes)

Mt. Tabor High School (2:10 – 3:40 p.m.)

  • Helen Anders, features and travel writer for the Austin American-Statesman
  • Quincy Whitney, arts feature writer/author of Hidden History of New Hampshire

Parkland High School (9:40 – 11:10 a.m.)

  • Gregg Griffey, commentator for The Roanoke Times and World News
  • Doug Waller, bestselling non-fiction writer and former Time magazine correspondent
  • George Williamson, social activist and minister
  • Trice Hickman, novelist/author of Unexpected Interruptions
  • Steve Duin, metro columnist for The Oregonian/ author of Comics: Between the Panels

Paisley Middle School (9:40 a.m. – 12:40 p.m.)

  • Cameron Kent, WXII anchor, novelist and screenwriter
  • Elizabeth Watson, conservation writer/co-author of Saving America’s Countryside
  • Melissa Venable, education/business writer

Old Town Elementary

  • Erik Ekstrand, poet
  • Jennifer Trafton, author of children’s books, including The Rise and Fall of Mt. Majestic

Contact the News Office for a detailed schedule and to arrange coverage.

Categories: Media Advisory