Conferring: Focusing On The Writer’s Notebook

To emphasize the importance of the writer’s notebook as a resource we must confer with students about the kinds of entries they are collecting in this special space and how they view the purpose of such entries.

Such conversations with students can focus on a range of considerations:

How are you, as a writer, extending initial entries and ideas?

Are you rereading older entries to discover new topics for writing?

How are you dealing with the challenge of the blank page and getting their words to spill onto the page?

Are you using close observations to inform your writing ideas?

How are you using your senses to inform your notebook entries?

What are you doing well at present?

How do find new ideas? Where do you look?

Tell me something new you would like to try in your notebook

What could you add to your notebook following observation of other writer’s notebooks?

Are you using your reading to inform the writing you do?

Do you occasionally lift a line from a piece and place it at the top of a new page and continue writing?

Are you occasionally writing about ‘old topics in new ways? Holding onto the topic or focus and using a different genre.

How are you planning to lift an entry from the notebook and develop it further?

How are your mentor authors helping you to become a better writer?

Is there a notebook entry you wish to revisit and expand into a longer piece of writing?

Is there an entry in your notebook you wish to revise to get it ready for publishing?

How and where might you publish one of your notebook entries?

What questions you ask yourself before, during and after you write?


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