Showing posts from March, 2019

Your Time Starts Now- A Writing Interview

On  weekends a magazine comes with the newspaper delivered to my front door. It frequently contains a variety of topical articles, some engaging, some merely page fillers.  At one time it also contained a regular feature entitled,  Your Time Starts Now. It involved a different person answering a series of predetermined questions each week. I always looked forward to reading their responses. I am naturally curious about other people's experiences in life. I often found myself wondering, how would I respond ? Would my answers differ or equate to those printed before me. So I have challenged myself to respond to the type of questions this feature posed: My earliest memory:  Watching my mother go to hospital in a taxi just prior to the birth of my sister and wondering if she would ever come back. I was quite distraught. Months earlier, my dog, Buster went to the  dog hospital  (as my parents put it) and never returned! My favourite gadget is:  My modern versio

The Real Value of Rereading Writing ALOUD!

The late Australian writer, Morris Lurie taught me how important it was to read my writing aloud. It was something he practiced and he shared this good advice most willingly. For many years I have been passing on to young writers I meet this same sage advice.  Another renowned  writer, Truman Capote said, ‘ To me the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it’s about, but the music the words make.’   This is why we must hear our words. We must ensure the music of our words is suitably melodic. Colum McCann in his wonderful book, ‘Letters to a Young Writer,’ suggests we should have a conversation with what we write. I totally agree.  As writers, we need to hear the sound our writing makes. We need to hear the repetition, the alliteration, the assonance and the onomatopoeia –all the wonderful notes. We must listen for the rise and fall. When you read your words aloud, you are able to hear them as a reader hears them. You get to hear the intent of the words. You will th

The Journey from Notebook Entries to Writing Projects

  I recently had a most engaging Skype discussion with Northern Territory educators from Girraween and Howard Springs Primary Schools about the ways we can support young writers move from collecting writer’s notebook entries to identifying their own writing projects. The question arose- How do we best facilitate lifting the writing out and up in order for it to be shared with a broader audience? Helping the inexperienced writer avoid becoming trapped in a whirlpool of copious notebook entries (that never grow and develop into something more fully developed) remains a critical consideration, for those of us responsible for teaching writing. The writer’s notebook is a tool for writing. It is not intended for the entries to become ensnared; trapped in a word prison. The notebook contains many beginnings and not all of them are destined to be launched beyond the notebook pages, but their presence affords the writer options. The skill lies in identifying and lifting out that pi

Regular Practice Is Essential For Growing Student Writers

It is most important for students to understand there is a real purpose to the writing we all do. To understand that through writing they can gain a greater understanding of themselves and the world in which they live is paramount. Through writing they can communicate with a specific audience across time and space.It is through writing they can find a voice for their thoughts and ideas. It is important for them to know their writing efforts are valued. Young writers therefore need adequate time and space to develop. Available research data shows when children are provided with opportunities to write every day they begin to compose even when they are not actually writing. In other words they begin to think about their writing beyond the confines of the classroom. This is where rehearsal for writing begins to impact the thinking of the emerging writer. As a teacher, I have always gained immense satisfaction from hearing students, who upon entering the classroom first thing