Author Laura Krauss Melmed speaks to third-grade students at Beverly Farms elementary school during a two-day author-in-residence program.
Photo by Colleen Healy/The Almanac
Students at Beverly Farms Elementary School learned about the writing process and how a book gets published from children’s book author Laura Krauss Melmed on Nov. 5 and 6.
Melmed, who came to the school to read from her first picture book called “The Rainbabies,” is an award-winning author of 20 picture books including lyrical bedtime stories, original tales of magic, holiday books, and nonfiction books about cities and states.
During the two-day author-in-residence program, Melmed met with students from all grades in the school. She described the creation of a picture book from the birth of an idea through writing, illustrating, and revision to completion. The students were able to view original — and messy — manuscript pages, artist’s sketches, editor’s comments, revisions, galleys and proofs. Melmed encouraged the students to work on their writing drafts and “scribble on it and change things. A writer’s work is messy. It is not perfect like it looks in the book. Writing is lots of work and revising. I encourage the students to think about writing and how important it is. They should use their imagination and come up with ideas. Writing takes kids to another place and uses a part of the brain to conjure images. Writing is using your mind in a different way. If you help with the fundamentals of reading or writing with a subject that the student is interested in, they want to do it themselves.”
Sandra Yesnowitz, the Cultural Arts chair of the PTA feels programs such as the author-in-residence series is “so important because it teaches kids about reading and writing. They hear about the process but many of them have never met an author. It shows them that anyone can write a book and encourages them that ‘I can do this too.’”
To find out more about Melmed visit www.laurakraussmelmed.com.