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Virtual Author Visit

On Wednesday, November 2, some of our Smithfield Middle School students had the opportunity to participate in a virtual author visit with best-selling author Ellen Potter. 

Ellen Potter has written over twenty books, including many fictional stories and two writing guides. Her books have won numerous awards and honors, including being named a New York Public Library Best Book for Children and being placed on various State Reading Lists. Potter’s newest novel, Hither and Nigh, is a middle-grade fantasy about a girl who discovers New York City in a parallel universe and goes on an adventure to find her brother. 

During the virtual visit, Potter spoke with students about finding inspiration in every-day occurrences, sharing how she came up with ideas for her novels, including Hither and Nigh and Slob. She then gave students her top three writing tips and explained how she uses those tips during her writing process.

Students were given the opportunity to ask Potter questions about writing and her books. During the Q&A, our students spoke with Potter about genres, writing styles, the publishing process, and more. 

To end the virtual visit, Potter gave students a creative writing prompt and gave them time to begin to write their stories. After writing, students had the opportunity to share their writing with their classmates and Potter. Potter gave positive and encouraging feedback to all of our writers, noting the wonderful descriptive language and scene-setting our students had created. 

After the meeting, Potter remarked, “[The] students were amazing! Their stories blew me away! They are just an awesome group of kids, and I hope they keep writing.” Smithfield Middle is appreciative of Ms. Potter speaking with our students and helping them to become better readers and writers.