Authors Speak to Middle School Students as part of Book Fair

As part of Morristown Beard School’s 4th annual Book Fair this week, award-winning authors Eric Geron ’07 and E.L. Shen conducted writing workshops with Middle School students on Thursday, April 14.

MBS graduate Eric Geron ’07 recently published Poultrygeist, a ghoulishly funny children’s book that offers a creative new take on the chicken crossing the road story. He earned a B.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Miami and interned at Scholastic in New York City. From there, he took a job as an editorial assistant at Disney Publishing in Los Angeles and began to voraciously write an array of projects.  He has written more than a dozen books for children, including the #3 New York Times bestseller Descendants: A Novelization, which he wrote under his pen name, Rico Green.

Geron spoke with students in Melissa Rachel’s class about  his career path, his job as an editor and writer, and his days as a student at MBS.

“I really fell in love with writing during my time at MBS.  My teachers here really got my creative juices flowing,” he said.

After his presentation, Geron guided the students through two writing exercises — one involving the use of puns and wordplay and the other focused on visual prompts.

E.L. Shen also visited campus on Thursday to speak with MBS 6th Graders as well as students in the Middle School Art of Storytelling class. Her debut middle grade novel, The Comeback, is a Junior Library Guild Selection, received two starred reviews, and was praised for its “fast-paced prose, big emotions, and authentic dialogue” in The New York Times. Her forthcoming young adult novel, The Queens of New York is scheduled to publish in summer 2023.

For her presentation to the 6th Graders, Shen talked about her life in middle school and high school, how she became a writer, how she incorporates her Chinese-American identity into her work, ice-skating, and life. This was followed up with an informative Q and A about her career, being a writer, and her biggest cheerleader (her mom)!

During her presentation to the Art of Storytelling class, she shared tips and tricks students could use when they wanted to create share-able stories from their lived experiences.  She shared six prompts the students could choose from, and they worked in their notebooks to pick the best stories from their lives that fulfilled the prompts.


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