More info is coming soon!
As part of the Final Friday Art Walk in Hyattsville, author Mary Amato will be at an Ask-an-Author Pop-up at Pyramid Atlantic Art Center on Friday, October 27th from 5:00-7pm.
Pop in to check out PAAC and to meet an author.
At Mary Amato’s Ask-an-Author Pop-up, you can:
• Ask Mary how she writes her award-winning fiction for children and young adults
• Take a peek inside her writer’s notebook
• Learn about the publishing process
• Find out what songwriting and fiction writing have in common
• Enter for your chance to win an autographed copy of one of her books!
The Final Friday Art Walk is a community event celebrating Hyattsville artists and businesses. Start at the murals on Route 1 (between Jefferson and Hamilton) and follow a path through the alleys to see new art and meet artists all the way down to Art Works. Businesses will have goodies for adults and kids. Art spaces will have craft-making fun!
Pyramid Atlantic is a book arts/printmaking center located at 4318 Gallatin Street, Hyattsville, MD 20781.
Mary Amato has published 16 books for kids and teens and has three new books on the way. She also writes poems, plays, songs, and essays for adults. www.maryamato.com.
The Humor Writing Workout, taught by Mary Amato
Four Mondays in November, 7:30 – 9:30 pm
at the Old Parish House, 4711 Knox Road, College Park
7:30pm – 9:30pm
Fee: $70 total
Editors are always on the lookout for laughs—even in serious work—so do yourself a huge favor and develop your humor-writing muscles. Through readings, discussion, and writing exercises, we’ll explore four distinct styles of humor, analyzing what works and why. This is not a joke-writing class; it’s a class that will push us to explore different styles of humor in our own writing, whether that be in fiction, poetry, song writing play writing, screen writing, or creative non-fiction.
Please register through College Park Arts Exchange at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are an out-of-towner and you are dying for instruction, consider private Skype lessons. Contact me for more info.
For three days, I had the chance to work with sixth, seventh, and eighth graders in Albemarle County, VA. We explored how to get ideas for songs and specific strategies for songwriting such as structure, metaphor, rhythm, rhyme, and prosody. We applied the same techniques for revising that poets and fiction writers use.
Each class collaborated to create one original song. We created characters and backstories for these songs and imagined that the songs were coming from each character’s point of view. Although we were focusing on process, our goal was to finish the song in just three periods. Check out the songs below.
Thanks to the Bama Works Fund of Dave Matthews Band c/o the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation for the financial support. I’m also grateful to Bobbi Snow, visionary founder/director and project grant administrator; to Bliss Webel, the wise and wonderful Language Arts teacher for all the classroom support; and to Busy Graham and Carpe Diem Arts for making the connection. Finally, thanks to the students, who I enjoyed meeting, for their enthusiasm and energy.
Topics for songs were brainstormed by each group and chosen by democratic vote. We used the “voice memo” app on the iPhone to record our songs.
Recordings to come soon!
For the second year, I had the opportunity to teach workshops at the Carpe Diem Arts Camp on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. This year, the focus was on songwriting, and we wrote a collaborative song. What a great group of campers! Thanks to Busy Graham, Ale and Binta.
DREAM BIG song recording by Carpe Diem Arts…sing along!
Wow! Loved working with Karen Giacopuzzi and campers to create homemade ukuleles from cigar boxes. My role was to teach campers how to play and write their own songs. We had a blast.
Enjoyed working with campers and staff at Riversdale House Museum for a workshop on diary making and keeping.
It all started with a letter from a fan. I wrote back. More letters followed. Finally, a visit! Two days of fiction writing workshops with enthusiastic and creative students. Thanks to librarian Mr. Weber for making the arrangements and hosting me in the library.
Imagine all the kids and teachers in a school reading the same book. Eli Whitney Elementary School in Ohio chose Edgar Allan’s Official Crime Investigation Notebook for their “One Book, One School” celebration.
Even before the book title was announced, the program involved a creative twist. To play with the mystery format, the media specialist Rebecca Gilhuly and staff gave students seven clues and the students had to solve them to figure out what book the school would be reading.
After the reveal, the students were given copies of the book as well as a Crime Investigation Notebook and instructions on how to use it like Edgar to figure out not only the mystery in my story, but also a new mystery that Ms. Gilhuly created.
Every week for four weeks the school had trivia questions and students who completed all questions correct they were put into a raffle to win another book written by me. The students had a blast investigating, interviewing, and trying to solve the mysteries. At the conclusion of the book students were encouraged to hand in their notebooks for a score and the opportunity to have a Skype session with me.
For a culminating activity, the High School Honors Forensics students will be coming to the school for a day. They will have six stations set up that students will cycle through. Some of the stations are fingerprinting, hair samples, deductive reasoning, DNA analysis.
Thanks so much to Ms. Gilhuly and the staff and students of Eli Whitney ES for celebrating books and for creating such a community of readers.
California! Guitar Notes was the focus of a “Read it forward” event–much like a One Book, One School– at South Pasadena Middle School. What an honor. Loved meeting students and staff. Creative projects included making jewelry from guitar strings…and I was lucky enough to receive some. At Highpoint Academy, I saw readers from grades 3-8 and had fun with improv and music. Such a wonderful time connecting with passionate readers of all ages. Thanks to Betsy Kahn, Jennette Neville, and all the supporting staff at South Pasadena Middle School and Highpoint Academy for planning, coordinating, and hosting the events.