Lessons from the Hi-Lo Market with Erin Thomas
Sunday, Mar 8, 2020
1:00pm – 4:00pm
Hi-Lo (high interest, low reading level) is an industry term used to describe books written for reluctant readers. These are readers who, for a variety of reasons, may not be eager to pick up a book or may not be reading at the expected grade level—but they still deserve a great story. These books reach other readers as well. They fit powerful ideas into small packages. Best of all, they keep people turning pages.
Writing books for reluctant readers takes discipline and judicious use of language. It requires us to engage readers from the opening page and earn their continued interest with every scene and chapter. In short, it requires a mindset that can be helpful in writing for today’s wider audience.
In this workshop we will look at how to choose an engaging point-of-view character, how to find your plot focus, and how to get the most ‘bang’ for your vocabulary ‘buck.’ Writing for reluctant readers means thinking about your story from the reader’s perspective and finding the heart of the story you want to tell. Bring an idea or a story that you’ve been working on and come prepared to think about it from a new perspective.
Workshop will be on March 8th, 2020. Location TBA. Pre-registration ends March 6th, 2020.
Erin Thomas first heard about books for reluctant readers while attending teachers’ college. When an opportunity arose to combine her love of dragons and the chance to write for reluctant readers, she knew it was a perfect fit. Since then, she has written seven books for children and young adults, all aimed at the reluctant reader market, published through Orca Book Publishing and H.I.P. Books. Roller Coaster, Haze, Overboard and Boarder Patrol were all Canadian Children’s Book Centre “Best Books for Kids and Teens” recommendations, and Haze was a Resource Links Magazine “Year’s Best 2012” selection.
Erin teaches a course in children’s books through Centennial College and creative writing courses through the Toronto District School Board and other organizations. She is represented by Rachel Letofsky of the CookeMcDermid Literary Agency. She lives in Whitby, Ontario with her family and their many pets — although not, as of yet, a dragon.