R.L. Stine has sold so many books he’s not afraid to give it away. In fact, he’s training his own replacement. To encourage professional writers to visit schools and work with kids, the master of children’s horror began the R.L. Stine Writing Program in his Ohio hometown. The program is available online to anyone who wants it; a visit to “The Nightmare Room” confirms our own terrifying experience of the blank page. Stine reiterates that one should never ever ever stare at it! He suggests flipping through magazines, writing down memories — anything to keep the white terror at bay. We’ve heard he keeps a cheat sheet on each of his characters, which might help someone whose written nearly 500 books, but for young writers, he suggests a 12-minute timer, and an agreement to write at least two pages each day. And what greater motivation for your budding wordsmith than a visit with Stine himself? While in town as keynote speaker for the 2013 San Francisco Writers Conference, Stine presents a “frightfully delightful” junior session for third- to eighth-graders.
Feb. 14-17, 2013