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HCPSS Students Engage with Bestselling Author at Howard County Library Event

November 27th, 2023

Author Nic Stone.

Middle and high school students from several HCPSS schools recently met and engaged with bestselling young adult author Nic Stone during a field trip to the Howard County Library System’s (HCLS) East Columbia Branch. Stone has written several award-winning novels that tap into her experience growing up among a wide range of cultures, religions and backgrounds. Her books examine race, class, privilege, socioeconomic status, and mental health topics from diverse perspectives. Her novel “Dear Martin” is taught in the HCPSS 10th grade English curriculum.

During the HCLS-sponsored event, Stone spoke about her experiences as a parent and world events that have influenced her writing. She also spoke about the difference between writing nonfiction (which she described as “what is”) and fiction (which she described as “what if”). In addition, Stone described the writing process. She recommended reading a variety of materials, listening to other people’s stories to gather inspiration and ideas, and being at peace with first drafts being unpolished and “messy.” Stone noted that her first manuscript, which became a bestseller, underwent extensive revisions before it was finally published.

Author Nic Stone speaks at Howard County Library event.

Stone also spoke about the importance of writing stories that speak to you as an author, not stories you think others will want to read. She pointed out that if you love and believe in your own stories, those stories will likely resonate with others, too.

Author Nic Stone signing a book for a student.

The experience of hearing from and interacting with Stone was a powerful one for students, says Oakland Mills High School Media Specialist Katie Florida, who attended the event with her students.

“Hearing about someone’s path to success, with all of its winds and bumps and readjustments, helps students believe in their goals and believe that they also can achieve what they hope to.”

Photos courtesy of Howard County Library System.