Sheilah has been a store clerk, a Bollywood movie extra, an art school model, a chambermaid, a barmaid/tender, riding instructor, a theatre arts administrator, a library assistant, and a teacher of various subjects, primarily, music and English. Generally, fearless. Loves History, horses and dogs, good food and great stories. She published For Maids Who Brew and Bake, in 2003 and then released a second edition in 2010. This book is a historical look at 17th century Newfoundland. With excerpts from old English manuscripts and Newfoundland letters, descriptions of 17th century towns, recipes, and old cures, this book paints a vivid picture of how Newfoundland’s earliest settlers might have lived. In 2004, “Maids” was one of five books from across the country nominated in the special interest category of Cuisine Canada’s National Culinary Book Awards. Her second book, Rain, Drizzle, and Fog, was launched in October 2014. This book is a historical look at the weather in Newfoundland and Labrador, the good, the bad, and the ugly, with early diary entries, newspaper reports/interviews and archival photographs. Sheilah's children's books include Full Speed Ahead: Errol's Bell Island Adventure, released in Fall 2016, and winner of the 2018 Newfoundland and Labrador Bruneau Family Children/Young Adult Book Award sponsored by the Writer's Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador; Flying Ace: Errol's Gander Adventure, long listed for the Bruneau Family award; Once upon an Iceberg: Errol's Twillingate Adventure, published in 2021 Sheilah's most recent non-fiction book was published in October 2020: Bottom's up: A History of Alcohol in Newfoundland and Labrador. To date, Sheilah has published three non-fiction books and three children's books. For more details see Sheilah's website: sheilahroberts.com
A reading and question period.
How to write a story. This presentation will be divided into two parts.
In the first half we will talk about character and setting, and they will choose their own character and a setting. We will talk about what their character really wants, what they must do to get it and who will help them. They will decide on a first line and tell their stories including character setting and goals.
In the second half of the presentation we will talk story arc, in this case they draw a mountain where they will describe the ‘journey’, the ‘goal’ (what the character really wants) and how they will end their story. We will look at a diagram of a second mountain and notice the sides are not smooth, there are dips and valleys – obstacles and problems. We will talk about problems that their character might run into and how they will solve those problems. They will now retell some of the stories and include at least one problem their character might run into.
Timeline of first session:
5 min. – Introduction.
5 min. – Talk briefly about character.
5 min. – talk briefly about setting.
10 min. – Talk about what their character might want to do or get or be.
5 min. – Ask them to think about how they will start their story. Ask for a few ideas of how to start.
Timeline of second session:
10 min. – I review story art and show them the first mountain slide to explain ‘the journey’, ‘the goal’, ‘living happily ever after’.
10 min. – We will talk about what problems, roadblocks or obstacles the character might run into and how they will solve them.
10 min. We will choose one story and put it all together, perhaps even adding more obstacles or roadblocks if time.
How to create a character. The students first practice visualizing a character by listening to the description of a well-known character, and then draw a picture of that character on paper to share with the rest of the group.
I will then ask them for their ideas about how a writer creates a character and then show them how they can answer questions to help them create a memorable character. They will then take turns answering a selection of questions which will challenge their imaginations. When we have answered all the questions, we will review the answers. They will each choose five things about the character that they would like to use as they make a drawing of their character. They will all imagine different things but certain things will be similar.
10 min. – listen to/read the quote from J. K. Rowling and then draw their pictures. Some may want to show theirs.
5 min. – they will suggest ways a writer might create a character.
30 min. – As a group we will answer a selection of questions to create a character.
5 min. – review of the answers and make any changes if needed.
10 min. – They will privately choose five traits and then draw pictures of how they imagine the character might look. If time we will share some of the pictures with the group.