Sophomores this year were able to become familiar with the book Feed by Matthew Tobin Anderson.
To those unfamiliar with it, Feed is about a boy called Titus, who, in a futuristic world, is dating a girl called Violet. What they do, and say, spread the themes of corporate power, consumerism, data mining, and environmental decay. This book was awarded the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Fiction, and the Golden Duck Awards’ Hal Clement Award for Young Adults. Anderson also has many other books for people to read such as Thirsty and Whales on Stilts!
Anderson continued to spread his knowledge about the world by coming to Malden High School on March 22nd to hold a Q and A about writing for students. The workshop allowed students to learn how improve their quality of writing from a real life author. With the addition of the Writer’s Den, large strides are being made to increase the number of students writing creatively. The in-school field trip helped many potential authors to bloom and discover themselves as a writer.
Many questions were asked, ranging from “What is the most weird encounter you had with a fan?” to “Why did you end the book [Feed] the way you did?” and many questions about how to get published and how to deal with different aspects of writing, such as writer’s block, and tough criticism. Students heard Anderson’s personal experience and the best advice he had to give.
MHS English teacher Sean Walsh, the instigator for the Writers’ Den, stated that “one of the things [they] set up for the Writers’ Den is to really focus on bringing in authors to both present and work with students and [they] wanted to pick an author that students might be familiar with, and interested in.” So, considering that the book Feed is in the sophomore curriculum and many of his books are geared towards young adults without “dumbing it down,” as Anderson puts it, an aspect he dislikes in most young adult books.
One of the highlights of the Q and A was a discussion about how Feed reflects the modern age, even though Anderson wrote it in 2001, before having a cell phone was a normal everyday thing. He also stated that he feels like “people now don’t think about the consequences of their actions any more,” inspiring him to end the book the way he did due to this.
This is only the first of many guest speakers that will be coming to the Writers’ Den to talk about writing. Walsh explained that himself and Larry Evans, the supervisor for the Den, plan to have many more events. Currently, the Den is set to publish a book soon called “My Malden, Myself,” which will be their first publication. There are hopes that the Den will publish a book every year, and have smaller events every month.