My name is Kristina McBride.

I write books.

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Paying It Forward

A while back, I spent a semester as a Writer-In-Residence at Irmo High School in Irmo, South Carolina, which is a school of the arts, just brimming with talented young adults. I worked with roughly 250 students on a publication project. The idea was simple and beautiful: Each student would write and submit one short piece for publication. The execution was a bit more tricky. I had to plan for six class periods, several of those combining multiple classes at one time, which made for some very large groups. But it worked. We were all striving together toward a common goal.

My residency was a life-changing experience. The faculty, staff, and students were welcoming. The class time was inspiring. And the students? They stole my heart, all of them pouring themselves into the pieces they created. I’ll always be able to recall the nervous anticipation I was met with during critique time, offering feedback on each piece submitted, and how each face lit up when I offered praise. It was wonderful to see that the students were not only open to suggestions for revision, but eager to improve their writing. The dedication they put forth was impressive, this project adding time to an already full load of school work and extra curricular activities. The whole experience was inspiring on so many levels.

The final product arrived this week, a bound, formally published collection of short stories, one written by each student who participated in the program. It’s a fabulous feeling, holding this book in my hands. This project became all about taking what I’ve learned about writing over the years and paying it forward.

 

The Final Product

 The Final Product

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