Teachers Write 7.15.14 A Friday Farewell (but just for now)

Congratulations!  Today we’re wrapping up six weeks of writing with all of our Teachers Write colleagues, and whether you’ve been sharing daily or writing quietly and lurking, the fact that you took time – no, made time – to be a teacher of writing who writes is something to celebrate.

It’s been amazing to read your stories and explorations and reflections, and it’s been a joy to see this writing community blossom into an even stronger one. I hope you’ll keep and nourish those friendships and connections as you turn your attention to a new school year. Before you do, though, I want to answer a few questions that have been floating around.

Hey…I want to use one of our summer writing prompts in my classroom.  Will it still be on the blog in October/January/March?

Yes! All of our Teachers Write posts live online, so if you bookmark a post to use with your students later on, you can be assured it will still be there when you go looking for it.

What happens with Teachers Write now? Do we keep writing during the school year?

Yes! You should most definitely keep writing, and you can always connect via our Teachers Write Facebook group. We don’t run Teachers Write as an official daily camp during the school year like we do for these summer weeks, but you can revisit any of the summer prompts at any time.

And this winter, you’ll have a great new tool for writing independently or starting your own teachers’ writing group in your schools and districts. 59 REASONS TO WRITE: MINI-LESSONS, PROMPTS, AND INSPIRATION FOR TEACHERS is my new book with Stenhouse – a collection of all the best writing lessons & prompts from our first two summers of Teachers Write.

59 Reasons to Write cover

I am so excited about this book – and really hopeful that those of you who have loved Teachers Write will use it to lead professional development in your own schools and districts, because teachers and librarians who write aren’t just mentors for their students. You have the power to change the culture of your schools and to create vibrant, supportive writing communities all over the world. I hope this book helps you do that. (And if it does, please come back here and tell us about it, okay?) 59 REASONS TO WRITE will be available by late November – I think I’ll be signing at NCTE, so if you’re there, please come say hi!

You’re still doing Teachers Write next summer, right?

Of course! We’ll be back in July of 2015. I think it would be great if you all launched writing groups in your own schools this year & then brought all your new pals back here to introduce us next summer. Do that, okay? 🙂

Hey…weren’t we supposed to buy some books to support the authors who organized & contributed to this summer’s program?

Why, yes! Thanks for reminding everyone about that. As you know, Teachers Write is a totally free program, even though similar online writing courses can cost upwards of $500. To help keep it that way, to say thanks to the folks donating time to make this happen, and to make sure we have enthusiastic author volunteers for future summer camps, we’re asking you to buy some books – one book from each of our main author-organizers below, and at least one book from a guest author of your choice.  This is a total honor-system thing…but it’s important to support programs that you believe in, even when they’re free. If I had to guess, based on the sales numbers we see, maybe a quarter of you have already done this. Thank you!! If you haven’t, please consider buying or pre-ordering some books from your local bookstore this week. Authors & some suggested books are listed below.

Teachers Write Author-Organizers

Kate Messner

For MG/teen readers – MANHUNT, EYE OF THE STORM, or pre-order ALL THE ANSWERS

For chapter book readers – MARTY MCGUIRE HAS TOO MANY PETS or pre-order RANGER IN TIME


Gae Polisner


Jo Knowles

For MG/teen readers – SEE YOU AT HARRY’S



Teachers Write Guest Authors for Summer 2014 (click to see websites/books)

Nora Baskin

Cynthia Lord

Donna Gephart

Lynda Mullaly Hunt

Megan Frazer Blakemore

Jeannine Atkins

Diane Zahler

Kathryn Erskine

Sarah Darer Littman

Donalyn Miller

David Lubar

Jody Feldman

Anne Marie Pace

Varian Johnson

Kat Yeh

Lola Schaefer

Kim Norman

Nikki Grimes

Sarah Albee

Erin Dealey

Erin Dionne

Phil Bildner

The folks on this list are not only amazing, generous humans but talented writers, too. Check out their work, and please introduce their books to your students.

And with that…Teachers Write Summer Camp 2014 is a wrap! Gae is over at Friday Feedback, so don’t forget to stop by for one last critique session. And remember that if you have questions or want to talk writing, we’re always around. Follow us on Twitter (@katemessner, @gaepol, @joknowles, @mentortext) or find us on Facebook via the Teachers Write group. And please look for us at NCTE in November if you’re there – there is nothing better than meeting Teachers Write campers in person!

Have a great 2014-2015 school year, everyone, and again…thanks so much for including us in your summer writing journey. It’s been a joy and an honor to work with you, write beside you, and call you friends.



9 Replies on “Teachers Write 7.15.14 A Friday Farewell (but just for now)

  1. Thanks so much for all your hard work to organize and round up all these amazing writers to participate! I really enjoyed the experience and will be back again next year!

  2. Thank you, Kate, and everyone else for this summer\\\’s Teachers Write experience! It was my goal to create and maintain a \\\”student friendly\\\” writers notebook that I could fill with samples of my own writing to use with students this coming year. I am blown away by how much I can write when it becomes a priority! And that\\\’s the biggest lesson of all I will share with student writers this year. Looking forward to starting a teacher writing group at our school this year, coupled with a text discussion group about what\\\’s new in children\\\’s fiction and nonfiction! I think it may just be some of the best PD we\\\’ve done yet! 🙂
    Thanks again for this opportunity and I\\\’ll be looking for you and the new boom at NCTE!!!
    Happy writing! 🙂

  3. Thank you Kate so much for the Teachers Write experience, I had a wonderful time. I appreciate all of your efforts and author’s input and knowledge. I plan to utilize this experience in my classroom and look forward to next summer’s Write!

  4. Another great summer! Thank you so much for organizing Teachers Write and connecting us with amazing people to support us. Teachers Write has completely changed my life, helping me believe and trust in the writing process more than ever and to realize how much writing nourishes my soul. I’m so excited for 59 Reasons to Write, too. I know it’s going to be a phenomenal resource. Hooray for our third year and many more to come. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! xo

  5. Thank you so much for all of the encouragement, inspiration, and instruction in writing processes! I was not brave enough to post – but I certainly learned a ton and hope to be braver next summer:).

  6. Thanks for hosting this once again. There was so much to learn as always. Can’t wait to share that knowledge with my students. Thank you also to all of the guests you had. I always enjoy buying books and I found so many more to add to my shelves or to give as gifts to grandchildren. I look forward to 59 Reasons to Write. Can’t wait for next year.

  7. Dear Kate, Gae, Jo, and Jen, as well as the guest authors,
    I can’t believe how fast this summer flew by! I am continually inspired by all of you and your talents. I really appreciate your patience and support. I’m so excited about 59 Reasons to Write! I added quite a few more of your books to my library and will be so happy share these with my 6th graders!
    THANK YOU never seems to be enough!
    Andrea 🙂

  8. This is great. You see, when I went to school I always had a feeling our teachers did not really love writing themselves. Yet, they gave us all these “weird” assignments … and then even graded them! It takes someone with a love for writing (plus the ability to do it – which can be trained though) to TEACH writing.