D211 Post: Best Selling Author Visits District 211 Schools
Sandhya Menon, author of the New York Times bestseller When Dimple Met Rishi spent two days meeting with students from James B. Conant and Hoffman Estates High School. Her visit to Conant coincided with the school’s first Author Day. During her visit to Hoffman Estates, she met with students in English Teacher Britany Westby’s creative writing class.
At Hoffman Estates, Menon told students they should never be afraid of rejection. She recounted the story of author Stephen King’s multiple rejection letters and told the students of the many times she had doubts in her own writing.
“Every writer has one thing in common,” she told the students. “All of them have dealt with failure. Failure isn’t a permanent state unless you take no for an answer.”
She told the students about her early days of writing and obstacles that she overcame to get where she is now. Following her stories, she took questions from the students. Student questions ranged from where she gets the inspiration for her characters to the environment she prefers when she writes and how she develops plot and character aspects.
Menon said she was amazed by the questions the students approached her with.
“I was completely blown away by the talent and insightful questions I got,” she said. “They were more insightful than a lot of adults I have met.”
Menon’s visit to Hoffman Estates was arranged through Media Center Department chair Terri Berkowitz in conjunction with the Schaumburg Township Library.
Westby felt students hearing about Menon’s background and realistic views were beneficial.
“I love that she is both a therapist and a writer,” Westby said. “She was very realistic in her career ambitions; she was quite honest about the length of time it took her to earn her bachelor’s degree. Everything was absolutely vital for my students to hear.”