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Mentor Day

Author Kyle Pratt in his office with Houston 

I first met Houston two years ago when I spoke about writing as a career at Centralia High School. I read some of his work and noticed a definite writing talent. Then a few weeks ago my friend Julie Zander asked if I’d like to help her mentor a writer as part of the local Rotary/TRiO program. The program pairs students with adult professions for a job shadow and mentoring day. When I saw Houston’s name on the TRiO form I agreed to take part.

Houston and Author Kyle Pratt at the TRiO lunch.

Now a junior at Centralia High School, Houston writes very descriptive fantasy and, while Julie is an excellent non-fiction writer, she wanted my fiction perspective included in the mentoring. The three of us met at Centralia College. While there we discussed writing as a career and the training and education that advanced our careers. Houston also wanted to know how a typical work day looked. As part of that answer, we took him to my home office where I spend most of the day on a keyboard staring at a computer screen.

After that, we joined the 61 adults and about 80 students from area high schools for lunch at St John’s Lutheran Church in Chehalis. It pleased me to see so many adults willing to take time out of their day to mentor the youth of our community. I was also glad to see so many young people eager to learn more about careers.


 
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A Meeting with Robin

I enjoy talking with students interested in a writing career.

Kyle Pratt and Centralia High School senior Robin McGrew

I spoke on the topic writing as a career in the digital age at Centralia High School back in November. On Thursday, I met with Robin McGrew, a senior at the Centralia, at The Station Coffee Bar in Centralia. Robin is thinking about writing as a career. We spoke for nearly an hour during which I told her that writing is a tough career to get started in, but I love it. I advised her, as I do with all novice writers, to connect with an effective critique group and hone her craft.

Robin, I hope you get an “A” on the assignment, and I wish you the best of luck as you start on your career. 

Back in School

I had the chance to go back to school this week.

Author Kyle Pratt speaking at Centralia High School

Ten years ago, I taught at Centralia High School, near where I live now in Lewis County, Washington state. However, life and other opportunities drew me away, and I haven’t been back since. I still know many of the teachers though, and last week, counselor Jim Parker asked me to come back on Tuesday and talk about writing as a career.

So, you like working for minimum wage

Author Kyle Pratt speaking at Centralia High School

I did actually start with that, but as a joke. Okay, maybe it wasn’t entirely a joke. Many authors have to have a regular job to support their meager earnings from writing. Only a few make the big money. I don’t make a fortune, but I’ve been fortunate, to earn a living writing books that I enjoy.

The Internet, print-on-demand, ebooks, and audiobooks are changing the world of writing. I spoke for nearly an hour, and in that time explained how, as a mid-list indie author, I run a small publishing company, and use all those formats to distribute my books.

Amazon, Kobo, Smashwords and Apple, iTunes are all my business partners. It’s fun, but it is also a full time job.

Students asked questions before, during and after I spoke. I’m sure some of them were late for their next class. I had a great time and hope to speak with students again in the future.