EEEEE! Why #KidlitSummerSchool? This essay tells you!

CourtenayToday’s featured essay was written by Courtenay Schurman! At the end of Kidlit Summer School 2014 we invited those who participated to write an essay on the topic What I Learned in Summer School as a final exam. In just a few days, we’ll begin Summer School 2015! This inspirational essay will make you want to make sure you don’t miss out on any of the great info! If you missed Summer School last year, you can still check out all of those posts right here on the blog. And if you were with us last summer, this post will help you remember those good times. Maybe you’ll want to go re-read some of last year’s wisdom!

Not registered yet? There is still time! Click HERE to register for Summer School 2015. Registered participants have access to the webinars and the exercise book!


What I learned from Nerdy Chicks Write in three hundred words? I’ll boil it down to five: Enlightening, Energizing, Evocative, Empowering, and Enabling.

Rebecca Petruck’s #30mdares (particularly “Fight with your best friend” and “Home is destroyed”) made me stretch beyond my comfort zone to outside-the-box directions I could not have conceived of for my particular story, but which resulted in new scenes I want to include in my finished MG WIP. How enlightening!

The Webinars left me feeling more strongly connected to a larger community of women writers, informally with participants (sidebar chats) and formally through the authors, editors and agents who were our teachers.  I do not know of any other no-charge class like this that covers as much material in an at-your-own-pace format. How energizing!

Kat Yeh’s Character Interview blog taught me to go deeper into my MC’s response by sending other story characters to ask the same question. I will add this technique to my tool box whenever I want to add depth, understanding, and layers to a scene. How evocative!

Kelly Light’s lesson on drawing your MC’s emotion and bedroom was an exercise I never would have tried, since I consider my ten-year-old daughter to be the artist in the family. She taught me value in going beyond my limited beliefs; even if I feel I don’t draw well myself, I can still get a clear visual in my head that can deepen my understanding of character. How empowering!

Finally, Zacharia OHora reminded us that fear is a very real part of the writing profession that we can work past. By taking this first step, I am finding the desire to push forward increasing as the confidence to keep writing grows. How enabling!

CSBy Courtenay Schurman, M.S., CSCS

co-author of The Outdoor Athlete, 2009 (Human Kinetics)


One comment on “EEEEE! Why #KidlitSummerSchool? This essay tells you!

  1. Amy Benoit says:

    2014 was memorable wasn’t it?!? Thanks, Courtenay! Can’t wait to learn more in 2015!


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