Fort Dodge Author Visits Campus


Author, and Fort Dodge native, Jackie Haley inspired the Writing Society students at Iowa Central to be passionate about what they write about when she visited campus for a second time on November 8th. Haley was asked to return to campus a week after her book signing event to meet with the students active in the campus writing society. Most of these students had questions for Haley about the process of writing a book, and also about publication.

The Reading and Writing Center on campus sponsors the Writing Society, which meets every other Tuesday at 6:30pm in ARC 105G. One of the fun activities that members of this society are working on during the month of November is National Novel Writing Month, better known as NaNoWriMo. The RWC staff has challenged students to write a complete story during the month of November. In order to complete this task, students must write between 334 and 1,667 words per day to stay on schedule and complete their stories.

After Haley visited campus to share with students about the writing and publication of her first two books, students were left with questions. A staff member of the RWC, Steve Stutter, asked Haley if she would return to campus and attend one of the Writing Society meetings. Haley was thrilled to have another opportunity to speak with students and answer any questions they might have. She attended the Writing Society meeting on November 8th at 6:30 in the ARC. She started off by speaking about how she found time in her busy schedule to stay dedicated to writing her book. She answered questions from students about how she developed her characters, and what strategies worked best for her during that process.

Following all of this, Haley engaged with students and asked each attendee about their stories they are working on for NaNoWriMo. Haley said she was interested to know what different genres everyone was writing about since some topics come more natural to certain people. She troubleshot questions that students had about how to keep their stories flowing. She also recommended that when an idea comes to mind, to always write it down. She then answered a common question in the room about the importance of setting, and how much detail should be used to describe a specific scene, drawing on her own experience when she sent her first book to her editor. Haley even offered to read portions of students work so far because she was so thrilled to see an eager group of future writers.

Thank you, Jackie Haley, for taking time to meet with Iowa Central Writing Society students to answer questions that they had about how to write a successful story. Students of the Writing Society saw this as a refreshing opportunity to look over their work as they had just begun to work on their novels a week prior.

Katie Larson

Twenty-years-old and a class of 2017 South Hamilton graduate. I enjoy creating adult coloring book masterpieces. Professional procrastinator. Easily manipulated by dogs. Fruit snack connoisseur. You can probably find me watching Psych, c'mon son.

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The Collegian is an online newspaper written, edited, and published by students at Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge, Iowa.