Showing posts from October, 2011

LookBooks and The Writer- Guest Blogger, Elaine Hirsch

This latest post comes from Guest writer, Elaine Hirsch and revisits the concept of LookBooks, examining the potential of this resource, originally applied to the fashion industry, to further assist the writer within each of us... Elaine is kind of a jack-of-all-interests, from education and history to medicine and videogames. This makes it difficult for her to choose just one life path, so she is currently working as a writer for various education-related sites and writing about all these things instead. Elaine writes: 'In the fashion industry as well as others , people use lookbooks and mood boards to draw inspiration from and define their own particular styles. These creative tools are used to collect visuals of interest to designers, from photographs of models to swatches of fabric to sketches, layouts, and whatever else helps to inspire them and direct their creative impulses in a particular fashion, as well as quickly inform other people as to the specific “feel” of t

Yielding To the Influence of Other Writers

Renowned Australian singer, songwriter, and story teller Paul Kelly was once asked where he found ideas, and he answered, ‘I steal them.’ Kelly was being somewhat self effacing, but he was also close to a truth all writers know. They know what imitation looks like. Such influences are unavoidable. At some stage in our writing journey we try on other voices, adopting, then adapting them. Such influences are important to our development as writers. We may find ourselves drawn to the rhythm, description or structure of the words. This influence on our ears and eyes is inevitable. The more we read as writers, the more we are exposed to the influence of our fellow writers. I read somewhere   - ‘Bad writers borrow, good writers steal.’ When you notice yourself influenced by the words of another writer you need to shape that influence to make it fit your writing intentions and your particular voice.   I have previously mentioned how I have been informed by the writing of Jerry Spinell

Guess What I Found On Page 23?

When searching for mentor samples or craft examples you might consider this. Gather some of your favourite books in a pile. Then, select a random page number (I chose 23) and open each book at that exact same page and let your eyes rove the page carefully in search of those special words that catch your attention and generally appeal. Record what you are drawn to. Write the words you find straight into your notebook or your computer, if you prefer. Look at the assembled words carefully and let your writer’s eye take over. Notice the words, the craft, the language structure. We are merely practicing the art of reading like a writer. You might actually find some pearls in your word search. Pearls you can put to further use in your important work as a teacher of writing. Remember, not everyone who wanders is lost. We are afterall, explorers. My Notebook Entry: ‘Everything has a value, Provided it appears at the right time in the right place. It’s a matter of recognizing

BRAINSTORMING With Stenhouse Publishing

I woke this morning to some great news!  My article on brainstorming previously posted by Two Writing Teachers earlier this year, has been picked up by Stenhouse Publishers in their latest Newslinks. Like me, you can subscribe to Newslinks which is free and provides lots of great professional support with writing, reading and numeracy. If you missed the original article, or are interested in reading about assisting young writers to more effectively generate ideas for writing then go to Stenhouse Newslinks at:  or you can link to the article at  Two Writing Teachers: Tenielle's Brainstorming Ideas when thinking about her Aunt