Former Craig artist teaches Hayden students ins, outs of writing, illustrating |

Former Craig artist teaches Hayden students ins, outs of writing, illustrating

Mary Pat Ettinger, a former Craig resident, author, illustrator, and landscape painter, was at Hayden Valley Elementary School to help students create their one illustrated books.
Hayden Valley Elementary/courtesy

Having a book published is for some a lifetime goal, for students at Hayden Valley Elementary School, it’s a goal many will achieve after a recent day-long workshop with former Craig resident, author, illustrator and landscape painter, Mary Pat Ettinger.

Teacher Jacqueline Villarreal spent about a year communicating Ettinger’s visit.

“I connected with her because someone had recommended her as a local author and illustrator,” Villarreal said.

Each student was able to spend 45 minutes with Ettinger, who no longer lives in the area, but was able to spend a day. She brought signed books with her for the students.

“We were able to break into small groups and work with the author, hands on. Each student came to class with the writing of one of their favorite memories, then we worked together to make them into a book and illustrate them,” Villarreal said. “Ettinger taught children to break ideas up into sections, rough draft a book layout, sketch in pictures to enrich the text and how to make their memories come to life.”

Many students finished their books, some will continue to work on their pieces throughout the school year.

This summer there will be an enrichment class to go through the publishing process, and some may even have them published and available for purchase online.

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or

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