When They Teach Your Stories In School

By way of explanation, my short story ‘Remains’ was featured here. Someone got in touch with me and asked if they had permission to introduce the story to their class. It didn’t occur to me to say no, and it was a wonderful thing to experience.

‘I teach English at Brownburg High School in Indiana in the US, and I am so geeked out excited to introduce my kids to “Remains” tomorrow. As a maternity sub (the theater where I work is, sadly, closed), I receive the lesson plans the day before. The minute I laid eyes on this story I fell into it with all my heart and imagination and my mind has been whizzing at top speed ever since. I taught literature at a local university for several years, and I’ve missed those discussions. Tomorrow, my students will get a taste of what those classes felt like. I can’t wait!

I must tell you as I grade the essays/short stories based on “Remains,” that my students were SO inspired. I got so many fabulous original stories from those who chose that route. They could clearly see how the structural choices helped tell the heartbreaking story, and were able to replicate those kinds of choices in their own work. Those who chose to do a literary analysis of the story instead of the creative option were able to confidently talk about the way the repetitions and the decaying line lengths, along with the emphasis on the one intact memory that lasts to the end helped to convey the story itself. They got it, in many cases, for the first time. Your story is such an excellent teaching tool, such an inspiration. I am thrilled with the results.

It’s lovely to hear anyone enjoys my writing, and to think it helped people develop their own critical and creative skills is heartening.

You can preorder my forthcoming book here:

The Lightning Thesaurus

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