Author Arwen Elys Dayton Visits 8th Grade


Science fiction author Arwen Elys Dayton talked to eighth graders about story development on March 18.

Author Arwen Elys Dayton Inspires Maple Eighth Graders

Young adult author of science fiction, Arwen Elys Dayton knew she wanted to be a writer when she was eight years old. That is when she wrote her first stories and shared them with “anyone who would listen.”  She told this to Maple School eighth graders during a visit to the school on March 18.

Ms. Dayton has written the popular science fiction series, Seeker, Traveler and Resurrection, and The Young Dread and Sovereigns Hold.

When she was young, Ms. Dayton lived in the country, and was always a day dreamer, adding that it helped her imagination run free while developing story ideas. She commented that her stories always seemed to involve adventure, were futuristic and verged on being “creepy.”

“As an adult, I get ideas while driving, taking a shower, or jogging. While I was jogging, I got the idea for the book Seeker, which is being made into a movie by Columbia Studios.  The person who wrote Jungle Book is creating the script,” said Ms. Dayton.

Seeker is about a girl named Quin who “fights beside her two closest companions, Shinobu and John, to protect the weak and the wronged. Together they stand for light in a shadowy world,” according to Ms. Dayton.

She explained some tips to the students about how to develop science fiction stories; asking them to write the lead of a story during a 10 minute time period. Tips to story development included getting away from distractions and letting the imagination run wild; eavesdropping; and thinking of embarrassing situations.

She gave the kids even more concrete ideas about how to develop a story.

“Take the time to become interested in a person who is in your life somehow that you have noticed, but have never given him/her much attention. Write down something you could find out about that person, and create a mystery. Read an imaginative story!” advised Ms. Dayton.

Student volunteers read their story ideas. One girl’s story revolved around “a planet not yet soiled by human beings.”

According to her website, Ms. Dayton “spends months doing research for her stories. Her explorations have taken her around the world to places like the Great Pyramid (which she explored by a single fading flashlight when researching Resurrection), Hong Kong and its many islands, and lots of ruined castles in Scotland. She lives with her husband and their three children on the West Coast of the United States.”

Follow the author @arwenelysdayton on Twitter and Instagram, or reach her by email at

This author visit was arranged by eighth grade Language Arts teacher Lorene Schramm and library media specialist, Amy Kauth.

Beth Preis

Publicity Coordinator
Northbrook/Glenview SD 30
2374 Shermer Road
Northbrook, IL 60062


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