Young writers have the opportunity to bring history alive in their own words. Students learn how they can use their life experiences and memories while creating characters and settings from the past. Their stories should be centered on a period of history they have studied. Middle school students will look more into political and social events and how those might affect their character and settings. Dialogue will be discussed and how it can be used to move a story and to develop a character's personality. Students will learn that editors are there to help them. Revision is the opportunity to add all-important details, while editing can help find grammatical errors. Middle school editing will include expanding the conflict of their story. The writer will discuss with teachers the time period students will be writing about in their stories and can concentrate on any element of writing the teachers would like.
Diane has written several creative nonfiction books for children including Side By Side, a story about jazz musicians Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane, which was a finalist in the 2017 Best Book Awards. “Called Home”, a short story about two Vietnam-Era Marines from Raleigh, was a finalist in the 2017 Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition. While working with young writers, Diane strives to take the anxiety out of writing by explaining that the process covered in class is the same she uses in her own writing. For instance, she shows students a very long roll of edited sheets from one of her stories to emphasize the value of editing and rewriting. There is nothing she enjoys more than seeing the smile on a young writer’s face proudly reading their story.