Writing Prompts Made Easy

by  Author Marty Chan

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“I don’t know what to write” is a refrain you’ve probably heard time and time again. To help students overcome their fear of the blank page, teachers often give writing prompts in the form of an inspiring picture or the first sentence of a story yet to be written. What happens when the kids look at the prompt and repeat their refrain? 


Marty Chan has the answer with his approach to breaking down a writing prompt. He re-imagines the 6 W questions with a writing game that unlocks the students’ imagination. He shares multiple techniques to approaching a prompt to give students options if one method doesn’t work for them. In this workshop, the kids will have an opportunity to try out these techniques as they tackle a picture prompt and come up with a story that they can continue working on as you kick off your creative writing unit.

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About This Program


By Request: $250.00
By Request Premium: $200.00


60 minutes

Target Audience

Education: Grade(s) 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Minimum participants:


Maximum participants:


Primary Disciplines

Language Arts/English, Writing

Program Delivery Mode

Videoconference – Webcam/desktop (Zoom, Google Meet, Cisco WebEx, GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, etc...)
Google Hang Out
Microsoft Teams

Booking Information

Book it!

Receive this program and 9 more for one low price when you purchase the CILC Virtual Expeditions package. Learn more

For more information contact CILC at (507) 388-3672

Provider's Cancellation Policy

There is no fee to reschedule but cancellations within 24 hours of the workshop are subject to a $50 fee.

About This Provider

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Author Marty Chan

Edmonton, Alberta

Marty is an author and playwright. He’s written over 20 books for kids and nearly 100 plays for adults. He specializes in writing hi-lo fiction to encourage striving readers to pick up books. The Junior Library Guild awarded the gold medal standard to two of his novels: Haunted Hospital and Willpower. One of his early books, The Mystery of the Graffiti Ghoul, won the 2007 Diamond Willow Young Readers’ Choice Award. 


Looking for a dynamic workshop on how to write scary stories? An engaging storytelling session to introduce young students to folktales and story structure? An inspiring book talk to get your reluctant readers excited to visit the library? Marty has a variety of sessions that cover Kindergarten to high school. He also provides professional development sessions for teachers who need extra help getting their students excited about creative writing.


From his virtual studio in Alberta, Canada, Marty delivers interactive writing workshops and author visits with a cutting-edge blend of special effects, humor, audience participation, writing games, and storytelling. Kids won’t be able to look away when Marty turns his pen into a lightsaber to illustrate how specifics matter. Younger students will be amazed at the behind-the-scenes look at how Marty’s picture book about his cats came together. Kids will scream their guesses at the screen as they play his version of ‘I Spy’ and learn the value of sensory details. He offers programs to schools, homeschool students, and the general public. 


Since 2020, Marty has performed over 1,000 virtual sessions across North America. He can connect with classes and students via Zoom, Google Meet, MS Teams or YouTube Live. 

Marty Chan
(780) 975-9292

Program Details


1. Program begins with a tour of a writer's workspace.
2. Marty introduces his approach to creative writing.
3. A warmup exercise where the kids imagine what they'd buy with a hundred million dollars.
4. Marty reveals how the six 'W' questions can unlock a story.
5. Marty shares multiple ways of looking at a picture prompt.
6. Writing exercise to break down a picture prompt.
7. Kids will have a chance to share their ideas and get feedback.
8. The program ends with questions and answers.


The participants will:

- develop techniques to help them find creative inspiration for stories.
- brainstorm ideas for stories they can continue writing.
- explore the power of the six 'W' questions to overcome writers' block.

Standards Alignment

National Standards

Please contact Marty for details on standards.