It’s ILA in 2018

Reminder: Today is the big day for our virtual blog party at Matt Forrest Esenwine’s place. Here’s the link. (I gave you the wrong one yesterday.) Please plan to meet at Matt’s and tell everyone you know how to get there. I’m bringing sliders and I double dog dare you to say you’ve had better. See you there!

Hi everyone,

I’m delighted to announce that Mary Jo Fresch and I have been accepted to present at ILA next year in Austin. Registration for the 2018 international conference opens in February. The dates are July 20-23.

We’re giving a hands-on, two-hour workshop called 7 STEPS TO WRITING SUCCESS: CHANGING HOW STUDENTS RESEARCH. It draws heavily from our just published book with Scholastic and is designed to give attendees some practical professional development opportunities. We’re both excited.



Hi everyone,

Yesterday Kathy Temean posted on her blog an interview with Mary Jo Fresch and me about our new book, 7 KEYS TO RESEARCH FOR WRITING SUCCESS. She also outlines the rules for a drawing for a free copy. Here’s what she says:

“All you have to do to get in the running is to leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know the other things you did to share the good news, so I can put in the right amount of tickets in my basket for you. Check back to discover the winner.” And here’s the link to her blog.

Thank you, Kathy!

Why is this man smiling?

Hi everyone,

Ruth Culham kindly snapped me signing at Charlesbridge. That’s part of my wonderful editor, Karen Boss, in the background. So now I can prove that I really was there! Thank you Ruth!

Here’s Tara Welty between Mary Jo Fresch and me showing off our new book with Scholastic. Tara is Editor-in-Chief for Teacher Resources at Scholastic.

Laura Salas was kind enough to share this selfie from NCTE. With Laura (left), Sylvia Vardell, and Sandy around me, you can understand why I’m smiling!

How to get ready to write

Hi everyone,

I spent yesterday and will work again today putting final touches on my part of the presentation Mary Jo Fresch and I are making at NCTE tomorrow. I think we’re in good shape. Mary Jo has created a beautiful set of slides for our PorwerPoint. The main inspiration for this 75-minute talk springs from our just published book, 7 KEYS TO RESEARCH FOR WRITING SUCCESS. We’ll sign copies of the book at the Scholastic booth right after we finish.

We all know the importance of preparation before we begin something. A simple grocery list requires research. Do we need milk? Check the fridge. Soup? Check the pantry. Otherwise you may wind up with three jars of pickles as I have now. Try writing twenty-five words about Einstein’s Theory of Relativity without doing a little homework first. Kids in school spend more than 15,000 hours from K-12 getting ready for life, yet we don’t help them understand the importance of getting to write.

Our book was written to provide practical activities teachers can use to help their students learn what they can do to prepare before they begin writing. And that’s the subject of our presentation. Wish us luck!