Hello, teacher/librarian/writer friends! It’s almost time for Teachers Write, my free online summer writing camp for teachers & librarians. Have you signed up yet? If not, you can do that here.
But before I share details about this summer, I want to take a minute to celebrate all of you. Really.
The work that you’ve been doing as teachers and librarians these past few months has been nothing short of heroic – pivoting to teach kids online, making sure they have stories to read, all while dealing with your own lives and families. I cannot imagine how kids and families would have gotten through this without you. Not everyone understands that not being at school was actually more work for you — a lot more. So I want you to know that some of us do realize that. We know how much you’ve given your kids this spring, and how much you’ve given up. So thank you. I hope you’ll take some time this summer to recharge and take care of yourself.
That’s one reason I’m so excited about offering Teacher Write again. This summer will look a little different from years past. Instead of daily posts, which many of you said were hard to keep up with, there will be an email at the beginning of each week with writing lessons, prompts, and revision tips for you to work through on your own time, away from the screen if you’d like. Many will be lessons you can try out yourself and then bookmark to share with your kids later on – like this one. (It’s my favorite brainstorming strategy and works for writers of all ages!)
I’ll have more lessons, writing prompts, and revision strategies to share over the next four weeks, and I’ll be joined by some absolutely amazing guest authors!
Jess Keating will share a mini-lesson on writing picture book biographies! Her latest is about Marie Tharp.
Nikki Grimes will join us for some helpful revision tips! (And yes, that’s a Kamala Harris picture book biography you’re looking at! It comes out in August.)
Christina Soontornvat will join us with some great tips for writing nonfiction! Christina’s amazing book about the Thai soccer team’s cave rescue comes out this fall.
Adrianna Cuevas will share strategies for revising a novel! Her debut (below) comes out this month!
Martha Brockenbrough will share a writing prompt to jump-start your creativity. Her new picture book THIS OLD DOG is out in September.
Every Sunday, teacher-writer Jen Vincent will host a weekly check-in on her blog, where you can chat, ask questions, share some of the writing you did that week, and ask other campers for feedback.
And then there’s me – I’ll be talking about all kinds of writing this summer, but I’m going to have a special focus on researching and writing history. My new nonfiction series HISTORY SMASHERS launched July 7th and is aimed at undoing the lies & myths we teach kids about history. It’s illustrated by Dylan Meconis in a multimedia format that includes lots of illustrations, photographs, and graphic storytelling pages.
Teaching honest history — what really happened in America’s past and not just the sugar-coated myths — is essential to dismantling white supremacy and working toward a better, more equitable future. That’s a huge goal of this series, and I hope you’ll share it with your kids, challenge them to think critically about history, and engage them in lots of great conversations.
I also have a new picture book launching next week! HOW TO WRITE A STORY is a follow-up to HOW TO READ A STORY, which I know many of you use in your classrooms. It’s a celebration of the writing process and a great book for introducing writing workshop to kids.
If you’d like personalized, signed copies of these new titles – or any of my books – you can order through my local indie bookseller, The Bookstore Plus. I’m happy to sign books to you or your kids or your school or library. And if you leave a comment to let the bookstore know you’re a Teachers Write camper, I’ll include an extra special inscription!
I’m so excited for all of our contributing authors, and we’ll have some surprise guests along the way this summer, too! Are you ready to get writing?
Camp starts on July 6th, so sharpen your pencils, charge your laptop, and get your notebook ready. I’ll see you on Monday!