Award Winning Author, Amber McBride, Shares Her Writing Wisdom with GSB Upper and Middle School

National Book Award for Young People’s Literature finalist Amber McBride visited Gill St. Bernard’s upper school and middle school students on Wednesday, September 28, 2022, as the first presenter in this year’s visiting author series.

The John Steptoe New Talent Award winner for her debut young adult fantasy novel in verse, Me (Moth), began the day in Upper School Teacher Andrew Lutz’s creative writing class where she workshopped a writing prompt entitled “In the Beginning” and explored the roots of folklore and persona poems with the students.

After the intimate classroom setting, McBride presented to the entire Upper School in the Performing Arts and Community Center’s Matthews Theater and shared her thoughts on the value of empathy in literature. Her comments concluded with the reminder that “literature helps us to find out more about ourselves. It challenges us to look inward and to be empathetic. It encourages us to share, as we all have individual stories to tell.”

The author returned to the PACC in the afternoon to discuss the line between folklore, magic, and myth with the Middle School. She recited stories that had been passed down through her family and invited the students the same. At the end of each, she challenged the audience to consider which components were figments of the imagination and which might be true.

McBride received her BA in English from James Madison University in 2010 followed by her MFA in Poetry from Emerson College in 2012. She currently teaches in the Department of English at the University of Virginia. Me (Moth) has been chosen by the National Education Association as a Read Across America book for 2023.

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