Young Poets of Montana

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“Music is the sharp violet of the flute song. Music is the pine green of the guitar strings.”    Salome, 4th grade student, Missoula Writing Collaborative

Congratulations to the Missoula Writing Collaborative on a beautiful series of poems and photographs by young writers featured in The Missoulian. The portrait series demonstrates the power that children can harness through the art of writing. See the entire series here. An article by Caroline Patterson explains more about what students gain through the writers-in-the-schools experience.

Photos Missoula Writing Collaborative Portrait Series Missoula missoulian.com

 

 

 

 

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Teach It to the Moon and Back

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Peter Markus, senior writer with WITS Alliance member organization, InsideOut Literary Arts Project of Detroit, has a featured lesson plan in this month’s Teachers & Writers Magazine.

Markus (aka Mr. Pete) engages his students in conversation and asks the class to rethink what they know about the moon. Together they dig into their imaginations and create metaphors for the moon. “What I love about bringing the moon into the classroom is that it’s a universal object. A little girl in Manhattan—Kansas or New York—or an old man in Kenya, a mother in Missoula, each of these people has equal access to a shared sky, a sky that has up in it a communal light—a light that is sometimes a circle cut in half, a light that is at other times a hammock hung between stars—a light, in short, that all eyes can see in new, never-before ways.”

Read the full lesson at Teachers & Writers Magazine >>

Let Your Voice Be Heard

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The Young Writers Project in Vermont publishes The Voice for young writers, photographers, and visual artists in middle and high school. For students to get involved, first open an account on youngwritersproject.org. Join the community, receive feedback, in order to be considered for publication in The Voice. The editors offer writing challenges to help get students started — or students can write about anything under the “general” tag. Students from WITS programs across the nation are welcome to join.

Teachers and Writers Launches the Digital Resource Center

Teachers and Writers Collaborative Digital Resource Center

The WITS Alliance welcomes the very much needed Digital Resource Center to the Internet. It is an online repository of lesson plans designed by writers for teachers and writers. Access to these materials is FREE.

Teachers & Writers Collaborative in New York has led this project, raising funds from Bloomberg Philanthropies and the National Endowment for the Arts. Currently the resources made available by the site include materials from the extensive Teachers & Writers archives, several decades of book publications and magazine articles. In the coming year, member organizations of the WITS Alliance will help build the collection by adding their best lessons. According to Amy Swauger, the Executive Director of Teachers & Writers, “The Digital Resource Center grew out of our desire to give new audiences easy access to T&W’s 45 years of print resources. We are delighted to work with our colleagues in the WITS Alliance to add materials from other organizations to this new database, which we believe will be of value to both existing programs and to those just starting to send writers to teach in K-12 schools.”

2011 Bechtel Prize Deadline Approaches

Teachers & Writers Collaborative
Image via Wikipedia

Submissions for the 2011 Bechtel Prize are due on June 30. This year the Bechtel Prize will be judged by Patricia Hampl. Here is more information from the Teachers & Writers site:

Since 2004, Teachers & Writers Collaborative (T&W) has honored the author of an exemplary essay on literary arts education with the annual Bechtel Prize. Submissions for the award address important issues in creative writing education and/or literary studies.

For more information, click here.

Bechtel Prize for Essays on Teaching Writing

39-2_cover-fullTeachers & Writers Collaborative (T&W) awards the Bechtel Prize annually in recognition of an exemplary essay addressing important issues in the areas of creative writing education, literary studies, and/or the profession of writing. The deadline to receive submissions for the 2009 Bechtel Prize is 5:00 PM (Eastern), Tuesday, June 30, 2009.

In 2009, T&W is seeking Bechtel Prize submissions that explore the teaching of creative writing in combination with another artistic discipline, such as dance, media arts, music, theater, or the visual arts; or with another academic discipline, such as math or history. We are seeking essays that shed light on the nature of the creative process and want to read your stories about viewing the art of writing through a different lens, and your take on the benefits and challenges of such cross-disciplinary work.

Questions that might be addressed in essays include, but are not limited to, the following:

What are the benefits of an interdisciplinary approach to teaching creative writing?

Are there aspects of the creative processes central to the literary arts that students can understand more clearly in the context of other disciplines?

What are the complications of teaching creative writing with another discipline?

Do writers who teach in an interdisciplinary way find that work influencing their own creative processes?

The winning essay appears in Teachers & Writers magazine, and the author receives a $1,500 honorarium. Authors of submissions selected as finalists for the award share honoraria of $500, and their essays may also be published in Teachers & Writers. The previous winners of the Bechtel Prize can be found here.

Prospective entrants for the Bechtel Prize are encouraged to review a sample issue ofTeachers & Writers to familiarize themselves with the magazine’s style. To order a sample issue of the magazine for $5.00, click here.

Complete guidelines are available on the Teachers & Writers site. Questions regarding the Bechtel Prize should be directed to <bechtel(at)twc.org> (replace (at) with @).

[cross-posted on the WITS blog]