Margaret Welwood

Margaret Welwood

Author
Beaverlodge, AB
Biography

My granddaughter Tina may be the only one who missed the school bus that cold morning because she and her grandma were engaged in populating a pink roomed bug hotel. There were only two guests, and we two storytellers wrestled with the author's universal dilemma—having given our heroes a worthy obstacle, what do we (and they) do next?

As a child without knowledge of sensors or security, I used to imagine myself hiding at the library until it was closed, then sneaking out into the stacks and reading all night… because I love stories! 

When our children were little I was the story lady during the morning church service, and now I’m a volunteer story reader at my grandson’s after school care. As well,  I taught English as a Second Language to adults for years with stories as a mainstay.

I have written over 100 traditionally published magazine and newspaper articles. I also edited To Teach, To Learn, To Live: The Complete Diabetes Education Guide for Health Care Professionals by Diane O'Grady, RN, RSN, CDE, Second Edition (2006). This book won first place in the reference category of the Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards (2010).

And now a new door has opened into Storyland… the world I’m exploring with my grandchildren, Tommy and Tina.

Take Scissortown, home of the neatest and tidiest people anywhere. Enter the Slicers and Dicers, clumsy-looking creatures without a mean bone in their bodies, but OBC types who never met a pinking shear they didn't like. They wreak havoc in neat-and-tidy land until the grown-ups come up with a “solution”— and that creates another huge problem for everyone.

Enter Tommy and Tina, in a make-believe town but with their real and fascinating personalities . . . .

To share in my journey from ESL instructor and non-fiction writer/editor to children’s book writer, please visit www.writingbooksforchildren.wordpress.com.

Presentations
Inquire about this presentation

Scissortown

How would a small town — well-ordered and supremely manicured — look after invasion by a horde of pink-slippered "Slicers and Dicers" who cause the townspeople to hide all their cutting implements? And then--how does life go on when nobody can cut anything at all?

Although it is pure fantasy, Scissortown was written for another purpose besides entertainment — promotion of kindness and initiative in young children. Two different inside back covers containing either a Faith-Based or a Life Application promote these qualities in the follow-up to this engaging tale. For public readings I generally omit the back cover "lesson"; however, I will be pleased to read either one upon request.

Depending on the age and attention span of the group, I can also read stories by other authors. For example, I've found "Library Lion" by Michelle Knudsen to be popular with the K-3 set.

Equipment required: I have an optional PowerPoint slide show with eight slides of artwork from thumbnail sketch to final product. If the school or library requests the slide show, it would be nice to have a computer and Smart Board. Otherwise, if the group is small, I could show the pictures on my laptop if there is a plug-in.

Book Sales: Copies of books can be brought to be sold and autographed.

Preferred audience size: 5-40

Presentation type: Reading

Recommended levels: Junior kindergarten, Senior kindergarten, Primary (1-3)

Fees: The going rate for the school or library plus mileage if not in the Beaverlodge or Grande Prairie, AB area.

Inquire about this presentation

Writing Stories

For a very young and/or wiggly group, I simply ask them to draw a picture after I’ve read Scissortown, or to colour a line drawing that I provide. I then read them another story.

For a group with a longer attention span, I read Scissortown and then show the children the slide show without the text and have them re-tell the story.

The children start creating their own stories in one or both of the following ways:

* We start a story together, with the children playing the characters and scenery. 

* I give out simple pictures with writing prompts and have the children write or tell their own stories, possibly in pairs.

Equipment required: I have a PowerPoint slide show of the book with pictures, no text, so the children can re-tell the story. It would be nice to have a computer and Smart Board. Otherwise, if the group is small, I could show the pictures on my laptop if there is a plug-in.

Book Sales: Copies of books can be brought to be sold and autographed.

Preferred audience size: 5-20

Presentation type: Workshop

Recommended levels: Junior kindergarten, Senior kindergarten, Primary (1-3)

Fees: The going rate for the school or library plus mileage if not in the Beaverlodge or Grande Prairie, AB area.

Inquire about this presentation

Clear, Concise, Consistent and Compelling: Write So Others Will Want to Read

Students read excerpts of writing in various genres and discuss what makes them interesting (or not). This is followed by oral and written exercises designed to help students become aware of, and learn to employ, the following features of effective writing: clarity, conciseness, consistency and sparkle (vivid description, fast-paced action, appropriate pacing).

Finally, some tips on proofreading, and humorous examples of proofreading neglected or gone wrong.

If desired, students can bring their own work for critiquing by myself and/or small groups.

Equipment required: I have several PowerPoint slides of writing excerpts for discussion. However, if a computer and Smart Board are unavailable, the pages could be photocopied for students.

Book Sales:

Preferred audience size: 5-40

Presentation type: Workshop

Recommended levels: High school (9-12)

Fees: The going rate for the school or library plus mileage if not in the Beaverlodge or Grande Prairie, AB area.