Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Best Day Ever with Sooz and Sarah

Sooz and Sarah Spend a Day with Woodstown Writers!

by Bella B and Riley M

The first time Mrs.Kelly, our 8th grade teacher at Woodstown Middle School, mentioned that two authors were coming to our small town, we might have flipped just a little bit. We have 7,500 people in our entire town/township, and not a lot goes on. Sure, there has been big news. Maybe our school has switched to block scheduling, or there’s a dance coming up (true and true), but nothing to the extent of this. When we found out that  best selling authors Susan Dennard and Sarah J. Mass were coming Woodstown, everyone from the middle school, and even from the high school were so excited to meet and learn from two of their favorite authors. As soon as we found out that they were coming, everyone rushed to get their slip so they could learn from the authors, and when the time came, both of them were ready to answer them and have fun with us. Both of their series have definitely left their marks on many of us and will be two of the series that we will always remember and cherish!

Susan Dennard is Sarah J. Maas’ best friend and is the author of the Something Strange and Deadly series and the Witchlands series (The Witchlands series is not yet released). She is an amazing author, and has misfits all over the world (Inside joke. Read the books!). Seriously though, read the books! You will fall in love with them. 

Sarah J. Maas is Susan Dennard’s best friend and is the author of the series Throne of Glass and Court of Thorns and Roses (Court of Thorns and Roses is not yet released). Her novels have many people’s jaws hanging open as they flip through the pages. She is a New York Times Bestselling author, with numerous comments of praise. Read, read, READ her novels!

Even from these brief descriptions, it is undeniable that this duo is a talented force to be reckoned with. A talented force that happened to be coming to our very own school!

Just imagine for a second that 30 helium balloons are popped in a small room. Do you have that picture in your mind? Without being popped of course, these crazy balloons were us. The very idea that we would be in the presence of these authors was astounding, let alone that we were going to be able to talk to them! We learned that they would sign our books and answer our questions and coach us on our writing and breathe the same air that we breathed. 


Our excitement was to be bottled up and accumulated throughout the many months we had to wait for their visit. It was always something in the future, a hazy, faraway figure in the distance. Someone would mention it and the entire class would eek! and drum their fingers on the desk. Letters were written and mailed, posters were made and hanged, and people were reading and rereading their books. The days dragged on and the calendar refused to have its days crossed out, but eventually the day was upon us. 

Everyone was well rested and pumped to see their idols. The school day was not a bother for them. There was anticipation and antsiness in the air as it was announced that they had arrived.

A few wanderers just couldn't wait to meet them!  
As soon as Susan and Sarah walked in we were ready to greet our literary idols!

First Stop: Q&A Session with LOTS of fans!

Some bolted out of their classrooms to go to the Q&A, an event that was one of the highlights of the day. It was there that a lot of students connected to the down-to-earth authors and got to know them as a person (not that they weren’t before…).
Relaxing with some coffee and answering all our questions

Students crowded into our media center to hear from them.

Susan and Sarah have been best friends for a long time. They share many interests, like writing, books, tv shows, ect... But one thing that they share that they are really passionate about, is that they want to help inspire new writers.

Next Stop: Writing Workshops (2 Sessions)

After the Q&A, students could attend a Writing Workshop, where the authors helped to shape the future writers of our generation. They joked about quitting their jobs because they were so impressed with us. That comment may or may not have made some a little emotional….including myself.


Writing Exercises: In the writers workshop, Susan and Sarah had many ways to help get the creativity for our writing flowing. They said that something that helped them get into their writing was to listen to music without words so that could describe how the character was feeling. They even played some music so we could get into our character's head.

Sharing with Partners: After writing some of our story, we shared about what we wrote. They showed us that not only music can help with your writing, but sharing it with a friend of a peer can help as well. Even though it might be scary to share, it helps a lot because if you're stuck on a part of your story, and don't know what to do next, that they can help figure out how to fix that part.

Feedback and more advice from Sarah and Susan: When we shared to the group what we wrote, Susan and Sarah were fully supportive and encouraged us to keep writing. They helped us when we had questions and gave us advice that came from their hearts.


Lunchtime Visit: Autograph Session Meet and Greet

The hour passed by too fast and we were getting our books signed with cute notes and AUTOGRAPHS! They signed LOTS of books. They even let us sign their own copies!

I swear, the entire time my heart was racing a mile a minute, as was the rest of my peers.

Interview by Communication/Concepts in Multimedia Students

(Stay Tuned for Video Interview!!)

Fan Art Contest: 

Winner Sam Midili with Autographed Fan Art
Sammie won a Throne of Glass Tote filled with books, swag and a Barnes and Noble gift card!!
(Thanks to Bloomsbury Publishing, HarperCollins, and Tamar Rydzinski)

Congrats to all our Fan Art Participants!


 The day felt like it was only a few minutes, it flew by so fast. But as they say, all good things must come to an end. At the end of the day, hugs and tears were exchanged as they packed up their stuff and left, waving goodbye to many of us. No matter what, none of us will ever forget the incredible time we had and the authors that we were inspired by. But unfortunately, at the end of the day when the bell rang, we had to say goodbye to these two amazing authors. Even though we had to say goodbye, they had definitely left an impact on us and our writing. They might have had to leave, but we will definitely take the amazing time we had, and everything that we learned, and remember it forever.

Look how cute and fun they are!!

Stop by ANY time to visit us!!! The red carpet will always be rolled out for you!

Barnes and Noble Coffeehouse Event: 

Sarah and Sooz taught us that we need to keep sharing our writing.  Mrs. Kelly arranged for us to share some of our writing from the visit at our Barnes and Noble.  It was a BIT scary, but it felt great to share our writing while surrounded by LOTS of books AND our good friends!  We were even able to raise some money to buy more books for our classroom library so we can keep reading! Our online fundraisers runs until tomorrow!  Click here to shop Barnes and Noble.  Enter our code 11565066


 Want to see more pictures from our day? Click here
Check out newspaper coverage! 

Author Links

Susan Dennard

Sarah J. Maas

 Teacher Links

Jennifer Kelly

We couldn't help to add the cover reveal for Sarah's upcoming addition to her Throne of Glass Series!!!  Aelin/Celaena looks like she's going to be more fierce than ever!  September 1st.....PLEASE ARRIVE soon!! Click here to preorder.  Stay tuned for news on Sooz's new series.  We need the cover NOW!

Thanks Sooz and Sarah for all you do for us!!!

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