A local author is helping students at St. Katharine Drexel put their creative side on paper. Mary Honerman is taking sixth graders at the school through an all day writers’ workshop. 

These students are going old school at St. Katharine Drexel today. With pencils and paper, they’re perfecting their writing skills by putting together their own stories. 

“I think that there is so much reliance on technology that it’s important to cherish the written word and to practice it and not just text and not just use emojis,” Honerman said. 

Andy White is buying into the idea. He’s crafted a few creative pieces to share with his classmates. 

“These two boys go and they find a secret base underground and they put in the coordinates to another planet,” White said. 

White considers himself a writer and Honerman says that’s great. The mystery series author, who publishes under the name Mary Angela, says inspiring children is her main goal. Her own daughter is a part of the group. 

Matt Holsen: What have you learned from her when it comes to writing?

Maddie Honerman: That it doesn’t really matter what other people think about your writing. If I were to share it with somebody and they didn’t really like it, it doesn’t really matter as long as you like it.

Maddie keeps a journal at home. It’s something her mother, who’s also a teacher at the University of Sioux Falls, highly encourages. 

“Hopefully, if you can foster those skills early on and they can see themselves in that role, that they’ll continue to write,” Honerman said. 

And it will help these students as their homework calls for more and more writing as they get older.

After getting some story writing tips, the students will be competing in a contest. The winning writer will receive a gift card in January. Their story will also be published on Honerman’s monthly blog.