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Students Meet Local Fantasy Author

Fantasy author Django Wexler visited Mill Creek Middle School last week to talk with students about his career and lead them in a creative writing activity.  

One of his most popular young adult series, The Forbidden Library, was selected for this year’s Middle School Battle of the Books.  

Wexler asked the group of about 30 students to draw their own imaginary creature and write a brief introduction for it.  

“The closer it came, the more gruesome features I could see,” A student read as she held up her group’s drawing of a lion-like creature. “It had bones so bright they appeared to be glowing underneath its translucent skin.” 

A group of students created an opposite-mermaid with a scaly face and human legs. Another group imagined a spider with legs sticking out of its back and front. 

“Your imagination can lead to interesting things that you can bring to life,” one student said during the activity. 

After the activity, the seventh and eighth grade students asked Wexler if he had any advice for future authors. 

“I always tell people who want to become writers, the most important thing you can do is actually finish things,” he said. “Finishing projects is an amazing feeling. Even if you think it's terrible, that feeling of getting to the end is incredible. And if it's bad then you throw it away and start a new exciting thing.” 

A few questions later, they asked about his writing process. 

“Your writing process is super personal, and everyone does things differently,” he said. “There isn’t only one way to write. Use everything you’ve learned as a tool and figure out what works best for you.” 

Nathan Sun-Kleinberger, the librarian and technology integration specialist at Mill Creek who organized the event, said events like these are important to help students get excited about reading and writing.  
“This was a great opportunity for students to meet and greet a real-life author,” he said. 

This year, Mill Creek has 21 Battle of the Books teams, including two staff teams. The district-wide Battle of the Books competition is scheduled for May.