Farragut Middle School
Hastings-on-Hudson Union Free School District
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Farragut Middle Schoolers Learn the Power of Grit
“I’ve written entire books that will never see bookshelves. It can be difficult to stomach,” award-winning author Lindsay Currie told a group of Farragut Middle School sixth graders during a recent writing workshop called Writing with Grit.
“It would be easy to focus on those failures. But you can’t. Mistakes are how you learn and become a better a writer,” she added.
The workshop was part of the Young Authors Colloquium, hosted by Putnam | Northern Westchester BOCES, and it provided the students with a valuable opportunity to learn from professional writers.
The event, which took place virtually on Wednesday, consisted of a series of workshops for the seven Farragut Middle School students who each opted to participate. After a keynote introduction from Currie, known for her mysteries, the students could choose to join sessions on visual literacy, graphic novel writing, flash fiction, fairytales, character creation, and blackout poetry art. There was even a session on how to write about the hard and uncomfortable things in life.
According to the dictionary, grit is defined as “firmness of character; indomitable spirit.” It can also be referred to as an individual’s ability to persist after setbacks, remaining steadfast in their pursuit of long-term goals.
For Currie, grit is an essential personality trait of a successful writer. It’s the “stick-to-itiveness;” the conviction that keeps you pressing on when it’d be easier to give up.
“I thought the conference was very interesting,” said sixth grade student Siri Lambert. “It was helpful to learn about all the different writing techniques and the hard work and dedication it takes to be a good writer.” Other participants were Aurora Paereles, Emma Boudrias, Georgia Schmidt, Charlie Baer
Eleanour Vanamee, and Annabelle Cullen.
During a Q+A segment with Currie, students asked questions like:
- “How do you come up with a plot?”
- “How much do you write every day?”
- “What is the hardest part about being an author?”
The answers became clear, and students left with one overarching message: Writing is not a skill that you do or don’t have. It’s a practice. And to be great, you’ve got to have grit!