Reading Recap: Ballard High School

Audience: About 120.
Anxiety index: 8 (out of 10).
Books given away: The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, by Sherman Alexie and Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi.

I was invited to speak to an auditorium full of 9th, 10th and 11th graders at Ballard High School yesterday. This was part of the Writers in the Schools program run by Seattle Arts and Lectures. I’ve spoken in front of large audiences before, but this was the toughest crowd yet!

I talked about being a teenager myself, the kind of books I liked to read, what kind of writing I did back then. I read from “The Storyteller” and talked about how that piece was very personal for me, because it mirrored my own journey to writing. Afterwards, we had a Q&A, which was very enjoyable. Kids at that age have an incredible ability to ask very astute questions, the kind that many adults wouldn’t think of asking. Unfortunately, we started a bit late and ran out of time during that last part, so I didn’t get to spend as much time as I would have liked to interacting with the kids.