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An Author and Artist at Work


Barbara Santucci at Chautaugua

    In May 2009, the Highlights Foundation announced that Barbara Santucci would be part of the faculty for the Foundation's 25th Anniversary Writers Workshop at Chautauqua.

    Barb is the author of three picture books: Loon Summer, Anna's Corn, and Abby's Chairs. Her books have been selected for the International Reading Association's Children's Choice List and have won the Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year. She has also published short stories and poetry in several children's magazines and adult anthologies. Barbara has worked as a free-lance artist for several years and is currently working on illustrations for one of her own picture books. Barbara has a BS in education from Loyola University and an MFA in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College. She has been an elementary schoolteacher for years and is currently teaching creative writing to grades 1--8 in a private school in Rockford, Illinois.

    This writing tip from Barb offers a glimpse of the insights she  offers at Chautauqua.

    "Rhythm used well creates musicality in our stories. A variety of slow and fast beats work toward an exiting and interesting text. Rhythm is like the blood flowing or racing through the body of a story. The differences in the meter can give the reader clues for understanding the drama of the unfolding story.

    "An author can reinforce a mood or create interest in his or her story by altering sentence length. To increase tension, excitement, or action, try using short staccato sentences. When using description or a pause in action, use longer sentences. A mixture of long and short sentences  interest. Try reading your story aloud several times. It's a great way to catch snags in the rhythm and flow of a text."

    If you'd like to learn more from Barbara, join us next summer for the Highlights Foundation Writers Workshop at Chautauqua, July 11-18, 2009.  For more information, visit the Foundation's site.


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