Teachers Write! is an online virtual summer writing camp for teachers and librarians who understand how important it is for people teaching writing to walk the walk. If you’re a teacher or librarian who would love to work on your own writing, we’d love to have you join us.
Here’s how it all works:
Location: www.katemessner.com/blog (Post Category: TeachersWrite) New posts will be shared each weekday morning, and you can check in whenever it’s convenient.
Dates: June 4th- August 10th
Schedule is kind of an ugly word for summer, isn’t it? So let’s call this the plan-of-the-day instead. Feel free to participate in whatever floats your boat and skip the rest.
Mini-Lesson Mondays: Mondays will feature a mini-lesson on writing craft or logistics (how to make time has been a big question already!). I’ll share a workshop-style lesson with ideas, tips, and examples, and then there will be something to work on during the week. Or not. You can also just bookmark it for later. It’s summer, after all.
Tuesday Quick-Write: Tuesdays will feature a writing prompt that can be used to brainstorm new ideas or deepen your thinking on the project you’re working on now.
Wednesday Q and A: Ever wished you could just pick an author’s brain about how they do it? Each Wednesday, we’ll have a post where anyone can ask questions about writing . I’ll answer, along with an awesome panel of author friends who come to visit.
Thursday Quick-Write: Like Tuesdays, Thursdays will feature a writing prompt that can be used to brainstorm new ideas or deepen your thinking on the project you’re working on now.
Friday Writing Happy Hour: Fridays will feature virtual lemonade and time to share anything you’d like – progress for the week, links to projects you’re proud of, snippets of writing that you like or want feedback on. Author Gae Polisner will also be hosting a Feedback Friday on her blog, so feel free to stop by there as well to share your work & offer feedback to others.
Sunday Check-In – Weekends are for recharging, spending time with family and friends…and that includes online writing friends, too! Amazing teacher-writer Jen Vincent is having a weekend get-together on her blog, Teach Mentor Texts. Jen will be hosting an online writing group there. Each Sunday, she’ll be sharing reflections on her journey as a teacher who writes and encouraging others along the way. Think of it as a support group for writers, and head over there on Sundays to talk about goals, progress, struggles, and more.
Beyond these daily posts, you can expect the occasional surprise along the way – guest posts and some book giveaways for your classroom libraries, because teachers & librarians who write are worth celebrating.
Teachers Write! Virtual Summer Writing Camp Q and A
Who can join?
This writing camp is for teachers and librarians who work with kids of any age in any capacity. I’d ask that the Q and A and feedback requests be limited to them and the published authors who agree to help out, so the people who are working with kids get plenty of attention when it comes to mentoring and feedback. If you’re not a teacher or librarian, you’re still more than welcome to follow the posts and do the writing.
What does it cost?
It’s free. If you’re a teacher or librarian who’s found this, you’ve probably put a lot of my books in a lot of kids’ hands already, or nominated them for state award lists, or reviewed them online, or purchased copies for your library. I’m thankful for all of those things– and this seemed like a fun way to say so. The guest authors you’ll meet along the way are volunteering their time for the same reasons — because we appreciate teachers & librarians and value the work that you do.
Umm…I followed a link on Twitter and ended up here. Who are you, exactly?
Oh, hi! I’m Kate. I write books for kids of all ages, and I wrote a book about revision for teachers. I was a middle school English teacher for a long time and will never really get that out of my system. You can explore my website links to learn more. I’m visiting Mr. Schu’s Watch.Connect.Read. blog today for an interview about my upcoming mystery for kids. Mr. Schu and 4th grade teacher Colby Sharp recently chose my MARTY MCGUIRE books for their Twitter book club; you can read about that at SharpRead. I’m also guest-blogging about my love affair with encyclopedias at the Nerdy Book Club today. My favorite things are my family, being outside, reading, writing, and chocolate. All that should help you decide if you’d like to hang out here for the summer or not. I’m friendly, I promise.
What if I’m brand new at this whole writing thing?
Then the Teachers Write! Virtual Summer Writing Camp is especially for you. Welcome. You don’t need a license or a creative writing degree or permission from anyone to be a writer. All you need is the desire to write. Beginners and experienced writers are all welcome. Don’t worry… you can go at your own pace and only share what you want to share. If you’re happier lurking as a stealth writing camp member, that’s okay, too.
So will you respond to our questions and give us feedback?
Yes. But be patient with me, okay? I have two big writing deadlines and some book travel this summer and marshmallows to roast, too, so it may take me a while for me to approve and reply to all the comments sometimes. The good news is that this camp can run quite nicely even if I’m away. Daily posts will be scheduled, and all of you can cheer one another on and provide feedback. Our guest authors will be around to help with that, too.
What if I can’t start until later? And what if I’ll be on vacation the last week of July?
That’s fine. Sign up. Join us when you can. Take breaks whenever you like. We’ll keep your lemonade cold while you’re away.
How do I sign up?
Added on 6/2: I was originally having people sign up via comments…but at this point, I need to stop approving all those comments and get back to working on our camp agenda! You are welcome to sign up for camp at ANY time during the summer, though. Even if I don’t get a chance to welcome you personally, please know that I’m thrilled to have you join us.
To sign up, please click here to visit the current Google sign-up doc and leave your name, where you teach and what you teach, and your online contact info (Twitter, blogs, etc.) Thanks!!
If you tweet about writing camp along the way, please use the hashtag #TeachersWrite to help facilitate the conversation on Twitter.
If you’re on Facebook, you may also want to join the TeachersWrite! group there so you can connect with other members & receive notifications. Just go here & click on the “Join Group” button on the top right of the page. It may take me a day or so to approve your membership, but then you’ll be able to see all the members & links.
Hey… Why do you want all that information? Are you going to stalk me?
No. Your name & role are to help me figure out who’s participating as a teacher/librarian and how to tailor the workshops. I’d love to know where (generally) you work because occasionally when I travel for conferences, I have time to sneak in a local school visit, and I’d like to be able to let you know about that if I’m in your part of the world. Items 3-4 are to make it easier for Teachers Write! Summer Writing Campers to connect and stay connected for writing support and critique groups if you so choose. I’m going to share a list of participants on the blog so you can find one another easily. If you don’t want your name/info shared here, you can email it to me instead (kmessner at kate messner dot com). I do hope you’ll consider connecting with one another, though, because there’s so much value in being part of a writing community.
Either way, I promise not to use any of this information to stalk you. And if I do, I will be wearing a big floppy hat and those glasses with the fake nose & mustache, so you’ll never know it’s me anyway.
Fire away – and if you know you’d like to join us, go ahead and leave your name & info in the comments. Watch for an exciting list of Teachers Write! guest authors soon, and next week, we’ll roll up our sleeves and get writing!
Note: 1st-time commenters on this blog need to be approved, so don’t worry if your question or sign-up comment doesn’t appear right away. I promise to get to them all by the end of the day.