Tuesday, June 12, 2012

14 Who Says You Have to Pay to Play?

Last week, we compiled a list of M.F.A. programs geared specifically toward writing for children and young adults. Some of our wonderful readers added a few programs to the list in the comments of that post and gave personal feedback on their own experiences with M.F.A. programs. Today, we’re going to take a slight turn and talk about an educational writing resource that is FREE. Yes, you heard us right. FREE.

If you haven’t heard about the virtual summer writing camp author Kate Messner is offering, you will definitely want to stop by her blog. But first, a little bit about Kate from her website:
Kate Messner is an award-winning author whose books for kids have been New York Times Notable, Junior Library Guild, IndieBound, and Bank Street College of Education Best Books selections. The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z. was the winner of the 2010 E.B. White Read Aloud Award for Older Readers. Kate also spent fifteen years teaching middle school and earned National Board Certification in 2006. She lives on Lake Champlain with her family and loves spending time outside, whether it’s kayaking in the summer or skating on the frozen lake when the temperatures drop. You can find Kate on Facebook and Twitter.

While Kate’s inviting teachers and librarians to participate, all writers are welcome to follow along. Each week follows a recurring weekly schedule:

·         Monday: Kate offers up a mini-lesson on something craft-related or on a topic that is challenging for writers. Think workshop topics. Week one’s lesson was about something we all struggle with- finding time to write.

·         Tuesday: Quick-write day. Writers are offered a prompt to get them brainstorming for a new project or further develop a WIP. Week one featured a prompt that stretched writers to explore a setting of their choice using the senses.

·         Wednesday: Q & A day. Anything goes. You’ll want to check the comments each week because this is truly a goldmine. We couldn’t believe the range of topics that came up and how many guest authors stopped by to provide answers.

·         Thursday: Another quick-write day. Week one’s second prompt was to explore a scene where a character was entering the school library at lunchtime.

·         Friday: A reflective day to comment on progress for the given week. Writers can link to their own projects from the week or just share out any ah-ha moments they had. Kate hosted a giveaway for the first Friday.

·         Sunday: Author and teacher Jen Vincent is hosting an online writing group on her blog. She’ll be offering perspective about working as an educator and writing among other topics.
One of the best features of the camp is that Kate is personally responding to the work of writers who are daring enough to post their work. She’s rounded up many friendly authors and illustrators who also stop by to comment and respond to questions. Seriously, you’ve got to see this list of people giving back to the writing community to believe it. This camp is all about learning, providing support, and encouraging writers. What writer doesn’t need all of the above?

After following along closely during week one, one of the best pieces of information we came across was in Wednesday's Q & A post. One writer asked where a story begins. Kate’s reply was, “Begin on the day that is different.” Simple and brilliant.

Trust us when we say you’ll want to go back and check out the first week. Even if you can’t stick to the schedule, you may want to bookmark the posts for later. The camp began on June 4th and runs through August 10th.

Happy writing, campers!
Martina & Marissa

14 comments:

  1. This sounds wonderful! Will spread the word.

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    1. Thanks, Sheri! You're awesome. I keep blabbing to everyone I know about this great opportunity!

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  2. Thanks for sharing about this. Sounds like a great opportunity.

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  3. Great. Sounds doable. Thanks for posting. I joined your blog via Google friend connect and followed it via Networked blogs. Would love a return of favor for my blog. It's http://www.thefatandtheskinnyonwellness.com/2012/06/why-i-appreciate-anthony-bourdain-at.html
    You will need to scroll down, all the way down past some wonderful blogs you might be interested in and then find GFC and networked.
    Thanks so much. Appreciate help from a fellow blogger and writer.
    Ciao,
    Carole

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    1. Thanks so much, Carole! Your support is tremendous.

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  4. My June is nuts, but I'm off to bookmark this for July! Thanks for the tips :)

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    1. Jemi, doesn't it seem like crazy time never ends? Hope the posts are helpful to you when you go back to them. I'm enjoying the camp so much!

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  5. This is GREAT! Share, and I'll do my best to keep up. What a generous support team you all are. Thanks.

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    1. Karen, soooo glad! Isn't Kate's effort huge? All her guest authors and illustrators astound me. The kid lit community is fabulous!

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  6. There is something beautiful about this kind of pay it forward action. Thanks for sharing this with us today.

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    1. Angela, couldn't agree more. Let's face it-- the road to publication is scary and difficult. When writers support one another like this, it's like having someone hold your hand during that process. Kid lit writers create such a sense of community with these types of acts. Love it!

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  7. I heard about this from Sheri. Thanks so much for telling us! I'll also spread the word :)

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    1. So glad you found out about it, Julie! Happy summer writing :)

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