Marty Chan has spent about a dozen years traveling to schools and libraries, helping students develop creative skills in writing.
 
Originally from Morinville, Chan first became inspired to be a writer when he was in high school. His language arts teacher gave the students an assignment where they could design their bedroom in any way they wanted; they just had to describe it through writing. Chan wrote about a room where he never had to get out of bed, as his bed was on an elevator and each floor was filled with a kitchen or a pool or a library.
 
When handing the assignment back, his teacher told him to consider becoming a writer.
 
"That was the first time that I thought, 'oh wow, I could actually do something that is creative and fun and get paid for it'. That was the spark that got me into writing," Chan recalled.
 
Since then, Chan has published thirteen children's books and spends his time visiting schools and libraries, helping kids embrace their creative side.
 
Chan works all ages of students. His methods include finding out what interests the kids and encouraging them to base their writing on that.
 
"As long as I can tap into something that they care about, it's a lot easier for them to buy into the concept of them writing about something that they enjoy as opposed to just writing for the sake of writing. I know sometimes if you're forced to do something that you don't want to do, instead of being inspired or being passionate about it, you end up hating it."
 
Having that connection between the student's mind and their writing has seemed to be extremely effective in Chan's workshops. Not only has it sparked interest in writing in the students, but it also teaches them how to effectively organize and communicate their thoughts as well as forces them to use their imagination, skills that can help them in any field of life.
 
Chan recently spent two weeks in Sherwood Park at Woodbridge Farms Elementary working with the students. He hosted half-hour writing sessions with the Grades 1 to 3 and hour-long sessions with the Grades 4 to 6.
 
"My favourite thing is when I come across that reluctant reader or that reluctant writer who goes 'I don't want to be here, I don't want to do this' and then in the span of a half hour or over a couple of days, that same kid is now writing pages and pages of a story because they're just so excited about writing."
 
Woodbridge Farms teachers have reported that some students are now working on their own stories. Not for marks or extra credit, but for the simple joy of writing.

More Local News

Police investigating email bomb threats

The RCMP are investigating a new scam.

Fort Sask freezing ice rates

Minor hockey has finally gotten their plea.

County approves $63.8 million capital budget

Strathcona County is ready to build.

Shared recreation passes extended

Fort Saskatchewan and Strathcona County have agreed to extend their shared recreation passes a little longer.

Council shuts down extra funding for fireworks

There won't be extra fireworks in Fort Saskatchewan on Canada Day.

Snow clearing started in Fort Saskatchewan

Residents will need to prepare to move their vehicles off the streets.

2.82 per cent tax hike for Fort Saskatchewan

Taxes are officially going up.

Strathcona County Library finds new home

The Strathcona County Library is all moved into their new temporary home.

CP Holiday Train attracts thousands

Thousands of people enjoyed watching the CP Holiday Train roll into Josephburg.

Harbour Pool closed until February

Residents will have to find somewhere else to swim for the next couple of months.

DiscoverWestman.com is Westman's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide

Login