Meet New WITS Writer Elizabeth Keel

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January 16, 2013 by witshouston

Elizabeth A. M. Keel is a novelist and playwright. Her plays have been produced by the University of Houston, The Nova Arts Project, The Scriptwriters/Houston, Big Head Productions, Bootown, and MIldred’s Umbrella. Her first novel, Running Into Trouble, was published in 2010. Elizabeth also works as a teaching artist for the Alley Theatre, helping teens write short plays.

Elizabeth’s thoughts on WITS: 

All the stories I’ve ever read have stayed with me. They fill my tool box. I’ve read screwy stories, and ones that hammered things home. Sometimes, a certain story was the only thing that could spackle a crack in my life.

WITS is the Home Depot of story-tools. They are aisle after aisle of improved thought, humor, creativity, and hope. My goal is to hand out wrenches and saws to the next generation of thinkers. To teach them to look at problems, and instead of panic, draw on their writing and reading to see them through.

Elizabeth was influenced by Half Magic written by Edward Eager: 

“The children generally divided grown ups into four classes. There were ones like Miss Bick and Uncle Edwin… who–frankly, and cruel as it might be to say it–just weren’t good with children at all…

“Then there were ones like Miss Mamie King who–when they were with children–always seemed to want to pretend that they were children too…

“Somewhat better were the opposite ones who went around treating children as though they were as grown-up. This was flattering, but sometimes a strain to live up to.

“Last and best and rarest of all were the ones who seemed to feel that children were children and grown-ups were grown-ups… and there wasn’t any reason why they couldn’t get along perfectly well and even occasionally communicate, without changing that fact.

Mr. Smith turned out to be one of these.”


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Writers in the Schools (WITS)

Writers in the Schools (WITS) is the #1 arts education organization in Texas. With 80 writers and educators on staff, WITS reaches over 23,000 students a year in classrooms, community centers, museums, parks, and hospitals.

The glory of WITS is best expressed by the students--in their own words -- so this blog features essays, stories, and poems that were created by K-12 students in our program. All material (c) Writers in the Schools 2007-2013. If you wish to republish this work, please credit both the organization and the author and link back to this site. This material may not be used in commercial ventures of any kind.

Supporting WITS will help bring the pleasure and power of reading and writing to more Houston children helping to improve writing skills, build confidence, raise test scores, and enhance creativity.

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