On October 16, 2014, Charon Coin Press’ own Jerry Benns attended Career Day at Hillsboro Jr. High in Hillsboro, MO, to talk about writing and publishing. Benns presented information in four 30-minute sessions, in which students signed up to attend. Many of the students who attended are aspiring authors and wanted to gain insight into the writing and publishing process.
Benns covered many aspects of the writing and publishing process, including all the elements that go into the creation of a book besides the story. Using the recently released State of Horror: New Jersey and State of Horror: Illinois, of which Benns is the editor, he pointed out everything from cover art, copyright pages, and tables of content, to biographies and back cover material, taking the students through the aspects of publishing. He walked the attendees through the writing process and explained the differences between forms of writing like short stories and novels. Also on hand, to lend some advice to the students about writing, was author and editor Margaret (Margie) Colton.
One of the highlights of the sessions was when Benns asked the students to please raise their hands if they read—every hand, in every session enthusiastically went up. When asked, the majority of the kids preferred to have a physical book in their hand rather than an electronic version of a book, which was surprising information given the age of the students. The candid conversation demonstrated the students’ enjoyment of reading.
The sessions went well with students asking questions and being attentive, even interacting with Benns. He explained the importance of developing stories with rich settings and characters with depth. The students participated in an exploration of voice in a story and the differences in author styles. When explaining the aspects of the publishing process, marketing styles became the focus. Each session closed with the editing process discussion and Q&A. Several students met with Benns between sessions to discuss their writing and the opportunities open to them.
“My first surprise upon attending was the number of students who signed up to attend the groups. I can’t explain my emotions when I started the first session with the question, ‘who likes to read?’ and every hand shot up into the air. For a moment, I just stared throughout the room and saw the connections still exist between authors and readers. It made the whole day something special.” …responds Jerry Benns when asked what made this event so special.
It is our fondest hope that these students continue to read and develop their writing craft, becoming future published authors in their own right. Career Day was a fun and successful way to connect with future writers and give some insight into the writing world. Charon Coin Press would like to thank Hillsboro School District for the opportunity to speak with the students. These events help to reinforce the mission of Charon Coin and its team to give back to the community, while building a future of readers and writers.