Walking into your Story: A Writing Workshop




Language Arts:

Speaking and Listening

Reading and Writing

Writing and Representing



In my novel, The Painting, twelve-year-old Annie discovers that she can walk into a painting of a Newfoundland lighthouse and visit the people who live there. This writing workshop is based on The Painting. I use imagination games and visualization to demonstrate the creative process of writing a story.

The workshop begins with a dramatized reading  from The Painting. After a discussion about the role of the imagination in writing, I take students through a series of visualizations, using Annie’s experience of walking inside a painting as a model to illustrate how to imagine a story. Students create the details of an imaginary world, create a character and begin to develop the plot of their story.

Along the way, I share some thoughts about my inspiration and writing process for The Painting. At the end of the workshop, I talk about my books and answer questions about the writing life.

Grades 4 through 6

60 students maximum

One hour



Book your school visit now!

Contact Charis at




"Charis Cotter's workshop readings and easy manner of engagement ignites in her audience a sense of wonder which fires the imagination."—Bronać Gallagher, Grade 5 teacher, Lakecrest Independent School, St. John's