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Writers at school


Outaouais

Host an Artist or Writer.

Laurie Gough

Creative non-fiction, Nouvelle

Presentation

Laurie Gough

I’m an author, travel writer, and teacher who gives writing workshops in Canada and abroad. After teaching and travelling overseas, and teaching high school English in Canada, I began writing about my travels. I’m the author of Kiss the Sunset Pig and Kite Strings of the Southern Cross: A Woman’s Travel Odyssey, shortlisted for the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award, and silver medal winner of ForeWord Magazine’s Travel Book of the Year. Twenty of my stories have been anthologized in literary travel books, and besides being a regular contributor to The Globe and Mail, I write for national newspapers and magazines. I teach a travel writing workshop in Mexico, have been teaching travel writing at Carleton University, and teach with the Writers-in-CEGEPs program.

Suggested reading*

Kite Strings of the Southern Cross: A Woman's Travel Odyssey (Travelers' Tales, USA (also published by Bantam in the UK), 1999)
Kiss the Sunset Pig: An American Road Trip with Exotic Detours (Penguin publishing, 2006)

*These titles have been suggested by the author based on the activities that he/she proposes to students.
It is, however, up to teachers to verify whether the titles are appropriate for their groups (age and education level, specific context, etc.).
Teaching staff are invited to contact the author for clarification on this aspect and assistance in preparing their groups for his/her visit.

Proposed approach and type of activities

In an Introduction To Travel Writing class, I’d begin by telling the students briefly how I got started as a travel writer. I would stress the importance of how writing is a craft, not something you’re born with, and how if you want to be a good writer you have to read a lot and write a lot. I’d ask the students about their travels and any travel writing they may have done, asking them what aspects they think make for a good travel story. I’d give them concrete examples of ways various writers begin their travel stories to grab the reader’s attention, as well as outlining important elements in a travel story to give it shape and make it come alive (for example, adding people to any story always makes it more interesting). We’d also discuss finding the story and how you don’t always know what your story is until after you’re home and have time to reflect on it. Throughout the class the students would be doing brainstorming exercises to generate ideas. At the end of the day, the students would have one piece of polished travel writing.

Examples of activities

I’d tell students that even if they’ve never travelled anywhere, they can still write about their own hometown or city. We write best what we know best and locals know better than visitors what makes their home special. I’d get the students to write about one special place or event in their own city or town that most out-of-towners wouldn’t know about, asking them to make the writing come alive with details they’ve personally experienced.

Students would bring in samples of travel writing they’ve found from newspapers, magazines, online, or in books. We’d read the samples aloud and discuss what makes the writing good or bad based on what we’ve discussed.


Special conditions


For information

Laurie Gough
Phone : 819 459-1552
Email : laurie@lauriegough.com

Subject to taxes (GST, PST)

No

Levels

Secondary 3, Secondary 4, Secondary 5

Available in

In every regions

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