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Month: April 2016

An Open Letter to the Kids at Pasco School District

An Open Letter to the Kids at Pasco School District

Pasco LogoDear Kids of Pasco School District,

Umm, well. I was technically supposed to teach classes that inspired you to become an author, or illustrator, or whatever your heart dreams up, and then the coolest thing happened. You inspired me.

After learning the secrets of book design, some of the fourth graders at Mark Twain returned to class asking teachers for more time to write and draw ideas. In fact, one student who hadn’t done much writing on his own without a little prodding, well he wrote a story that morning.

My BooksAt James McGee, after listening to my spiel on writing a book, one of you asked a question I will not soon forget. “I want to become an author and someone said it’s a really hard thing to do. What do you think?” Please don’t forget what we talked about, okay?  All jobs are hard, so you might as well pick one that you like. And the most important thing? Never EVER let someone take your dream away from you.

The kids at Stevens Middle School, you are awesome. Your enthusiasm is contagious. When I reached your school, it was lunchtime. The day was unseasonably warm and before I began my talk, all I could think about was an iced coffee. But, even before I’d gotten through my introduction, I was grinning, the coffee long forgotten. I was there with you. I only wish I’d taken a picture of your faces when I told you I’d been a Stevens Tiger, too. You were great listeners and asked fantastic questions. Tigers, you are full of energy, passion and drive. I know you’ll slay your goals. Just don’t forget to ask for help along the way.

Amy Sonnichsen, fellow YA author with me at Mid-Columbia LIbraries

Pasco kids, you made my whole month. As I continue to write my third book,  I’ll be thinking of you. When the words won’t come or the edits seem too daunting, I’ll remember your energy and excitement and push forward. Thanks for being a part of my week.

With gratitude from your new friend,

Jennifer Hotes

p.s. A special thank you to Amy Kohn at Pasco School District for coordinating this day of visits. You’re wonderful.