I spent last week doing writing workshops with students in grades four through seven, as part of Richmond’s Children’s Arts Festival.

Wow! What an event! School groups (masses of school groups) arrive each morning. They’re each assigned to two interactive workshops — and those include everything you can imagine. Meditation. Creativity through movement. Puppetry. Animation. Sculpture. In between classes, there were rainmakers and hats to create, magic to learn, things to paint… My only regret from the entire week was that I couldn’t sneak away to explore all the stations!

My workshop was all about survival stories. The students threw themselves into tales of shipwrecks, plane crashes, or even zombie apocalypses. (There was a literary point to it all somewhere, though I admit the cannibalism was a bit of a tangent.)

This is our lovely space at the Richmond Public Library, pre-workshop:


And this is the post-creativity version:


Those Richmond librarians are a brave, brave bunch for hosting this event. (And a gracious bunch, too. They even let fellow presenter Kallie George and I sneak into their lunchroom every afternoon for respite time.)

I walked up and down the library stairs about a hundred times in the course of the week, but I didn’t notice this quote until the very last day. It summed up the entire festival wonderfully.


Thank you for having me, Children’s Arts Festival! (Next year, I’m going to disguise myself as a student and sneak into that animation class.)

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