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Canadian author speaks at area high schools

Fantasy author - Canadian author E.K. Johnston spoke at four area high schools between May 8 and 9. To start things off she made her presentation to students at Centre Wellington District High School on May 8.  Photo by Jaime Myslik

Canadian author speaks at area high schools

by Jaime Myslik

FERGUS - Canadian author E.K. Johnston made the rounds at Upper Grand District School Board high schools on May 8 and 9.

For the fourth year the UGDSB has encouraged high school students from across the board to read the same book – this year it was The Story of Owen: Dragon Slayer of Trondheim by Johnston, a Governor General’s Literary Award nominee.

The book “tells the story of Owen Thorskard who is sixteen years old, valiant of heart, hopeless at algebra, and last in a long line of legendary dragon slayers,” a board press release states.

“Even though he was young, Owen stood between the town of Trondheim and creatures that threatened its survival.”

The author traveled to Centre Wellington District High School and Orangeville District Secondary School on May 8 and to Wellington Heights Secondary School in Mount Forest and Norwell District Secondary School in Palmerston on May 9 to talk to students about her book and being an author.

“The goal of the program is to engage students in reading and to get them talking about books and sharing ideas, all while improving their literacy skills,” the press release says.

The culmination of the program was Johnston’s visit to the schools.  While at Centre Wellington District High School Johnston told students about her writing methods.

She told students about National Novel Writing Month and explained that The Story of Owen: Dragon Slayer of Trondheim was a product of the challenge.

“The idea is there are 30 days in November and you try to write 50,000 words of original fiction which is 1,667 words per day,” she said.

“One of the things that I found really useful with NaNo was that it got me to finish projects and I think a lot of times when people are writing books or even if it’s an essay for school or whatever, the hardest part is finishing the silly thing.”

She said one of her major challenges is going back to revisions and completing draft after draft until the story is ready for revisions.

While Johnston spoke during the majority of the presentation, she encouraged students to ask questions throughout the hour-long session.

May 19, 2017


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