I taught fiction basics to a group of middle schoolers last weekend. It was fun--really, it was. The kids were enthusiastic, strange, confused, excited, and scattered. But the thing that felt missing to me was the truth-telling.

You see, I'm used to teaching about nonfiction and I missed the commitment to the truth. Sure, it's fun to make up characters and setting, but what a challenge to figure out how to tell a story that really happened in an interesting way.

This weekend I'll be teaching again, but this class is about essays and I can't wait. For the first time, I'll be using this gem by Nicole Stellon O'Donnell, which appeared in Brevity. I'm excited to see how the students (adults this time) react and what they come up with. Our true stories are powerful.