Students Craft Stories with Award-Winning Author Adrian Fogelin
Posted 02/11/2016 10:43AM

Adrian Fogelin discusses a photograph with eighth grade
students, setting the scene for a story.

Laila W. shares her writing with the group
for feedback from author Adrian Fogelin.

Tampa Prep was excited to welcome YA (young adult) author Adrian Fogelin to school this week to host writing workshops with our students. Ms. Fogelin is the award-winning author of Crossing Jordan and several other books written for a young adult audience. She graciously met with each Middle School English class throughout the day, ending with a workshop with Upper School students in Creative Writing Club.

Ms. Fogelin began by explaining to each group that writers become a voice for their community, drawing on local, personal experiences. She then led students through several activities to develop their creative approach to writing. Looking at pictures, students conceptualized the setting around the picture, panning outward to a wider perspective to envision the circumstances of the picture. Some classes envisioned a character based on items inside a purse she brought. For the main activity of each workshop, students chose a shoe from a stack Ms. Fogelin brought with her. Using this shoe, students created a character who may wear it. They delved into this character by thinking about his/her mood, gestures and stance. She guided them through several steps of brainstorming to frame a character, resulting in a name, back story and a secondary character. Each student then wrote an opening scene for this character. It was a fast and fruitful hour-long workshop where students excelled, sharing their characters with their classmates as they took shape.

After school, Ms. Fogelin met with a small group of students in Creative Writing Club. She spoke with them about writing fiction, sharing the background of her path to writing, which began as an artist. She talked about the importance of constantly writing, for example, in a journal. She shared some of the details about her writing style and the kind of characters who she features. Ms. Fogelin offered details about the publishing industry, explaining the importance of having a literary agent. She also showed students original manuscripts and galleys of published books. The group enjoyed the personal time with an established author.

Thank you to Ms. Fogelin for offering wisdom and insight into how to shape a well-rounded character, as well as the ins and outs of book publishing. Learn more about her at

Ms. Fogelin shares feedback from her publisher 
during the final editing stages of a published work.

Eighth graders work diligently to create a character
based on a shoe they selected.