Adam Gidwitz visits the School for Children as the Dorothy Carter Writer-in-Residence
by Rachel Reda and Cindy Weill
Adam Gidwitz, author of A Tale Dark and Grimm (Penguin) and other novels, was this year’s Dorothy Carter Writer-in-Residence at Bank Street School for Children.
From April 6 -14, Adam, a Bank Street alumnus (GS ’08), worked intensively with 9/10s students on their novel writing. Adam guided students in writing, sketching and revising their own stories, encouraging them to pay special attention to sensory details, building suspense and “making the reader care.”
The work culminated in an event in which students presented snippets of their polished stories before a standing-room-only audience of School for Children parents, faculty and staff.
“These kids were some of the most eager, energetic, earnest writers,” Adam said. “ They were so enthusiastic to get back to their writing. Parents concurred with comments and added, “Our son was hooked by Adam Gidwitz from day 1 of his classroom visits and told us about his enthusiasm. What an amazing transformation he produced in (our son’s) writing this week — more descriptive and engaging than anything he has ever written. Adam has the gift of inspiration and motivation.”
Adam is the second Dorothy Carter Writer-in-Residence, which honors the life and legacy of Dr. Dorothy Carter, children’s book author, Broadway actress and the first African-American member of the Bank Street College graduate faculty. Cindy Weill, Director of the Center for Children’s Literature said, “I knew Dorothy Carter when she was the Chairwoman of the Bank Street Writers Lab,” a Bank Street workshop for professional authors. “She would have enjoyed watching Adam nurture the writer in every child.”
“Adam has demonstrated how to be a passionate, engaged and excited teacher,” said Greg David, 9/10s teacher in the School for Children. “We try to do that every day, but Adam did it in a fresh way that was really inspiring.”
Coincidentally, Adam and 9/10s teacher, Becky Eisenberg have known each other since they were both students at a progressive high school in Baltimore.