Writers need:
1) Time
2) To separate composing from editing
3) Response
4) Responsibility

Conditions for real writing:
1) Personal (choice)
2) Interpersonal (social)
3) Time/space to do quality work
4) Pay-off (purpose/feedback)

"Write about what makes you different."
Sandra Cisneros

"Read like a wolf eats."
Gary Paulsen

"It's misleading to think of writers as special creatures, word sorcerers who possess some sort of magical knowledge hidden from everyone else. Writers are ordinary people who like to write. They feel the urge to write, and they scratch that itch every chance they get."
Ralph Fletcher

"Here's the secret of writing: there is no secret." Ralph Fletcher

"Good writing happens when human beings follow particular steps to take control of their sentences-to make their words do what they want them to do."
Ralph Fletcher

"I write every day for two hours. But it's what I do for the other twenty-two hours that allows me to write."
Don Murray

simic"The secret wish of poetry is to stop time."
Charles Simic

"Poems are other people's snapshots in which we see our own lives."

Charles Simic

"The bigger the issue, the smaller you write." Richard Price

"The novel isn't dead. The novel is going to be at your funeral."
Richard Price

"I get my ideas from living my life wide-eyed and awake. I sit on the edge of chairs. I pay attention to wherever I am."
Drew Lamm

Role of Writer
1) Choose a partner
2) Tell partner what kind of help is needed
3) Read the piece out loud and listen to it
4) Consider the partner's response
5) What will you do next?

Role of Partner
1) Find out what kind of help the writer needs
2) Listen carefully
3) Start by telling the writer what works
4) Make a suggestion

General Rules
1) Keep conferences short (4-5 minutes)
2) Use conference areas
3) Only one conference per writing period
4) No back-to-back conferences
5) Use soft voices

Some of the Dayd of Everett Anderson
by Lucille Clifton (Holt).
A poem for each day in a city boy's life.

Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle
by Dunning, Leuders, and Smith (Lathrop). Excellent anthology for students 4th grade and up.

Joyful Noise
by Paul Fleischman (HarperCollins).
Poems about insects to be read aloud by two readers.

Beast Feast
by Douglas Florian (Harcourt Brace).
Terrific animals poems that kids will love:
"Just when you think you know the boa
There's moa and moa and moa and moa."

Honey, I Love
by Eloise Greenfield (HarperCollins).
Celebrates the daily life of a girl. Put a star next to this one.

Something on my Mind
by Nikki Grimes (Dial paperback).
Prose poems about a teenage girl's life.

Best Friends
by Lee Bennett Hopkins (HarperCollins). Friendship poems, with several gems. Also Been To Yesterdays, poignant and often painful poems of this author's childhood.

Baseball Diamonds
by Paul Janeczko.

pipingPiping Down The Valleys Wild
Edited by Nancy Larrick (Dell Yearling).
Fine inexpensive anthology with both rhyming and non-rhyming poems.

There Was A Place and Other Poems
by Myra Cohn Livingston (McElderry).
Powerful poems about kids coping with difficult home situations.

Secrets of a Small Brother
by Richard Margolis (Simon & Schuster).
Celebrates the good and bad moments between two brothers. Terrific.

At The Crack Of The Bat
by Lillian Morrison (Hyperion).
Wonderful collection of baseball poems.

I Feel The Same Way
by Lilian Moore (Atheneum).
Subtle poems about feelings we share. Unusual rhyme schemes.

Good writers separate composing from transcription:

Revision Editing
Change lead Spelling
Resequence Punctuation
Add a section Paragraphing
Prune/Cut Capital Letters
Focus on a part  

Here's a problematic proofreading checklist:
Did you check for ending punctuation?
Are the words spelled correctly?
Have you left out anything important?

(This one mixes blurs with revising. I suggest you keep them separate!)

-Ralph Fletcher

  © 2010 Ralph Fletcher All Rights Reserved.
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