Sunday, June 3, 2012

TMT Summer Writing Group

I am thrilled to be part of the Teachers Write! Summer Writing Group! After thinking about what I can do to focus on my writing this summer and talking with teacher and librarian friends on Twitter who want to write themselves, I realized it would be great to start a writing group. I am so excited to be teaming up with Gae Polisner, author of the 2011 YA Nerdy award-winning book The Pull of Gravity and Kate Messner, author of the 2011 Non-Fiction Nerdy award-winning picture book Over and Under the Snow, as well as the soon-to-be published Capture the Flag (and so many others), to support teachers and librarians as writers!

I believe as a teacher until you are writing yourself, it's hard to really comprehend what it's like to go through the process. And teachers should be models of writers as much as they are models of readers. So let’s get writing!
Capture the Flag, by Kate Messner
Kate has offered to develop and lead a virtual summer writing camp specifically for teachers and librarians on her blog, called Teachers Write! Monday through Friday, she will have mini-lessons, writing prompts, quick writes, author question and answer chats, and even a virtual happy hour! Tomorrow, visit her blog to get started with your summer writing!
Kate Messner, Author Extraordinaire
I am eager to see what Kate has to share and to join in on the camp activities to develop my writing as the summer progresses. If you weren’t convinced of Kate and her super-woman abilities, this should seal the deal for you. Already there are hundreds of people signed up to see what she has to offer and to jump into writing.

Every Friday, Gae already hosts Friday Feedback on her blog so her readers can see some of what she is writing and share their own writing with her...and the world! She invites people to share only a few paragraphs and then she comments and asks others to comment on what they think: Does it hook you? Does it make you want to read more? Does it make sense?

The Pull of Gravity, by Gae Polisner

As always, on Fridays, everyone is invited to share their writing and give feedback to each other on Gae's blog. This is your chance to get some feedback from Gae, myself, and others about what you are writing. 

Gae Polisner, Awesome Writer-Cheerleader-Friend
The hardest part of writing for me has been finding the time – and not just time – but a nice chunk of time to get into my writing and get somewhere. When I felt frustrated at not being able to find time, Friday Feedback helped me feel that my writing is worth finding the time for. The concept of Friday Feedback is simple but it has encouraged me as a writer and made me feel exhilarated about my writing. Gae has been my personal cheerleader and I love her for it!

After a week of writing with Kate and then getting feedback from Gae on Friday, we’ll have a weekly reflection here at TMT on how writing is going. On Sundays, I will share how my writing is going as a teacher who is writing and/or have a guest post from a teacher who shares his or her experience with writing. The focus here will be on what revelations we have about writing from participating in Kate’s Teacher’s Write! and Gae’s Friday Feedback or other experiences.

In the comments, chime in and let us know how you are doing with your writing: your pits and peaks of the week, your revelations, how much you wrote/revised/edited, your goals for the upcoming week.

Here are my rules for the TMT Summer Writing Group:

1. We respect each other and the type of writing we do.
2. We only criticize each other constructively.
3. We are positive and encourage each other at all times.
4. We recognize and maintain this as a safe environment.
**I reserve every right to put the smackdown 
on anyone who messes with our positive energy.**

Today, in the comments section:

Introduce yourself: tell a little bit about yourself and your writing. 
Tell us what your writing goals are for this week and for the summer.
Share one thing that scares you and one thing that excites you about writing!

I hope you join in on the TMT Summer Writing Group fun with Kate, Gae, and myself! See you this week at Kate’s blog and on Friday over at Gae's blog!


  1. Hello! I'm Shannon Houghton, a 2/3 highly capable teacher in Seattle. I used to be a newspaper reporter, so I know about writing in that sense, but I'm freaked out about teaching writing and book-ish writing.

    This week, my writing goals are to finish my first round of scouting out information on Bucky Fuller, because my summer goal is to write a book about him (I'm thinking a picture book). I'd also like to write about Elon Musk and any other rad scientist/polymath people I discover.

    One thing that scares me about writing is that I won't be able to convey just how freaking awesome the information I want to share is.

    One thing that excites me about writing is that there are so many stories that need to be told.


  2. Thank you for this post! I am a 4th grade teacher in the SF Bay Area and a writer of many ideas that never go beyond my computer and notebooks.
    My writing goals for this week are simply to stay up with the workshop since it is my last week of teaching and it will be crazy! For the summer, my goal is to finish a picture book I have been working on for the past 5 years and learn from all of these amazing people! One thing that scares me about writing is that I share my soul publicly when I post my work and the thing that excites me is that I feel freer each time I do put my ideas out there. Writing is cathartic and so soul-enhancing!
    Thank you for this post!