MAHWAH, N.J. — Free-writing assignments shouldn't be difficult for elementary school students, children's author Audrey Vernick says.
She'll be at all three of Mahwah's elementary schools on Thursday., Nov. 19 for Author Day helping young writers find good places to start.
"When you take a character and put them in unexpected place, a story always shows up," said Vernick of Ocean Township. "Think of an animal where you wouldn't normally find it and come up with reasons why it's there and something will come up."
Vernick has published dozens of children's books and short stories for adults in magazines and literary journals. The New Jersey State Council of the Arts has honored her with two fiction fellowships .
A friend gave her a small ceramic bowl where she collects all of her story ideas written on little pieces of paper.
"I tell kids to write down funny or bizarre things their friends say and hold on to them," Vernick said. "I used to lose ideas instantaneously until I started writing them down."
Vernick said her goal is to "never have the kids feel unable to come up with a story for a free-write again."
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