Announcing Teachers Write 2015!
Our fourth annual Teachers Write Online Summer Writing Camp will run from July 6th to August 2nd, 2015 – four weeks of daily writing lessons, prompts, opportunities to talk with favorite authors, and inspiration. It’s hosted right here, and we’re focusing on a one-month period this year because that’s when we’ve had the most participation in the past. Also, your feedback from last year suggests that you really need August to get back into full-time teaching mode.
Teachers Write is a free online summer writing camp, especially for teachers and librarians. It’s a chance to practice your own writing in a warm, supportive environment so that you can go back to your students with new ideas and (in many cases) a new sense of empathy for the courage involved in writing and sharing one’s work. We offer daily inspiration and assignments, including mini-lessons, writing prompts, and Q and A sessions with authors whose books you and your students love.
Our plans for Summer 2015 will be familiar to returning campers, but with some surprises, too. The inimitable Gae Polisner will be back with Friday Feedback, a chance to share your writing and get feedback. The amazing Jo Knowles will have your Monday Morning Warm-Ups each week. And teacher-writer Jennifer Vincent will be hosting Sunday reflection times again on her blog. Daily lessons & writing prompts will be on my blog, as always, and I’ll be sharing a list of amazing guest authors in a few weeks.
This summer, in addition to our usual guest author posts, I’ll be sharing an in-depth series on writing history and historical fiction. If you’d like to participate in that, you’ll want to pick up the first two books in my Ranger in Time historical chapter book series and read them before we begin on July 6th. They’re short and quick – and both are in paperback, so it’s just a $12 investment. The second book comes out in late June but can be pre-ordered now at your local bookstore or online, so you’ll still have time to read before we begin.
You’ll want to keep both books handy so you can mark them up & reference pages as I share the research techniques, organizational tools, writing, and revision strategies that went on behind the scenes. I’m using both as mentor texts because book one is set on the Oregon Trail, during a time period for which we have a great wealth of written primary source material, and book two is set in ancient Rome, a time for which we rely largely on archaeological evidence. I hope this will be a helpful series not only for those of you who write nonfiction or historical fiction but also for everyone who reads & teaches history with kids. The posts will stay up & available for you to share with student writers later on.
That’s a basic introduction of Teachers Write, but we know that you may have questions or be nervous about diving in to join us. Our wonderful Gae Polisner has put together a list of Frequently Asked Questions & answers on her blog with more information and encouragement. Especially encouragement. Gae is our head cheerleader around here.
So will you be joining us for Teachers Write this summer? We hope so! You can sign up here, any time between now and July 6th. Please follow us on Twitter (@KateMessner, @MentorTexts, @GaePol, & @JoKnowles) and join our Facebook group, too. Over the next three months, we’ll be busy getting ready for all of you to arrive at our virtual camp, so you’ll get lots of updates, including exciting news about this summer’s guest authors.
If you’d like to get warmed up now, you may want to pick up a copy of 59 REASONS TO WRITE, a collection of our writing prompts, mini-lessons, and Q and A sessions from the first two summers of Teachers Write.
And if you’d like to get to know your camp counselors a little better before we begin, the best way to do that is by picking up some of our books to read from your local bookstore or library.
Have a great end of your school year…and we’ll see you to kick off Teachers Write 2015 in July!