2018 Faculty
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An inspiring presenter and award-winning children’s book author, John Claude Bemis received the Excellence in Teaching Award from UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Education and served as the 2013 Piedmont Laureate. His novels include The Wooden Prince, Lord of Monsters, the Clockwork Dark trilogy, The Prince Who Fell from the Sky, as well as the picture book Flora and the Runaway Rooster.
Former student Bradley Scheel (Wylde Scott) says, “John is the rare artist who is so passionate about the craft that he is willing to share everything he has on the subject freely and without reserve. Every moment was fun, every class inspirational. No time will be more wisely spent.”
A musician and former classroom teacher, John lives with his wife and daughter in Hillsborough, NC. He’s published by Disney-Hyperion, Penguin Random House, and Heifer International, and is represented by Adams Literary.

with John Claude Bemis

The stories we read in childhood shape our lives. They transform us. They expose us to unforgettable characters, places, and struggles. Together we’ll explore the magic and wonder of writing for young readers.

Whether you’re writing a picture book or a middle-grade or young adult novel, we’ll explore the elements that captivate young readers of various ages. Each day, we’ll hone the tools of our craft, engage in rich conversations, and expand our imaginations through fun and challenging exercises. We’ll look at some of the extraordinary new books being written for kids and teens with an eye to gaining insights into how these writers are engaging young people. We’ll also look at your writing, to learn from your strengths and to help you grow as a writer. Outside of class, you’ll have dedicated time each day to write and relax in the magical setting of the North Carolina mountains. At the end of the week, you will leave with exciting new ideas for your stories and with your creative well filled.

Please send a one-page synopsis of your current work-in-process, as well as the first 4 - 5 pages of the story (1200 words or less). I’ll use these to help develop lessons for the class. I need them by August 1st. Send your copies as a Word doc to johnclaudebemis@gmail.com.