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Hey, What's the Idea?! (How to Get Writing Ideas from Your Own Life)

Lee has talked with thousands and thousands of children and young adults over the course of her 35+ year career. The #1 question she's been asked thousands and thousands of times is: "Where do you get your ideas?" In this program, Lee will discuss how to get great ideas from one's own life (even if you think your life is BOR-ring!) and how to turn those ideas into great books, stories, poems, plays, songs...and more!

Lee Wardlaw

45 Minute Program



If you’ve ever stared at a blank sheet of paper or that annoying, blinking cursor on your computer screen, and thought: “I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO WRITE!"... then this program is for you.

Using examples from her own books, Lee will share the Eight Best Ways to get story ideas from your own life - - even if you think you have the most boring life on the planet! She'll also share how you can turn those ideas into story settings, characters, conflicts, dialogue, and plot lines.

An idea-generating exercise, plus hand-outs that participants can use after the Visit ends, will also be an important part of this Visit. (Note: the complexity of the program will vary depending on the age group of the participants.)

Age Level:
Grades 1st-8th

Size of Group: 1-100 participants (Home or school/library visit. Multiple classrooms are also fine.)

Time Needed: 45-60 minutes

Materials Needed: Paper, pen or pencil

Prerequisites: Students should be familiar with at least one or two of Lee's books.

About the Author

Lee Wardlaw swears her first spoken word was 'kitty.' Since then, she's shared her life with 30 cats (not all at the same time!) and published 30 award-winning books for children and young adults, including WON TON - A CAT TALE TOLD IN HAIKU, illustrated by Eugene Yelchin (Holt, ages 4 and up) and the middle grade trilogy 101 WAYS TO BUG YOUR PARENTS, 101 WAYS TO BUG YOUR TEACHER, and 101 WAYS TO BUG YOUR FRIENDS AND ENEMIES (fiction, Puffin Books, ages 8-12 and 10-14). Her poetry has been published in many collections and anthologies. A former teacher, Lee has a B.A. in Education, an A.M.I. Montessori Primary Diploma, and studied for her M.Ed. in Child Development. She is a vivacious speaker with 35+ years experience presenting at schools, libraries, and conferences - - both on-site and virtual - - talking with students, teachers, parents, librarians, and writers. Lee has a genuine rapport with children of all ages, and is able to change the complexity and style of her programs to best suit the needs of each audience.

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101 Ways to Bug an Author...with Questions!

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101 Ways to Bug Your Characters – Creatively!

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8 Things I Learned from My Cats about Writing Haiku – A Writing Workshop

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