Saturday, September 19, 2009

Real Life Authors

I am really excited (a dorky teacher level of excitement) about the next week with my freshmen and their study of short stories. Our course, Introduction to Genres, focuses on two essential questions:
  • What do we learn from the "masters" about how to write well?
  • How can you use these tools to make your own writing "masterful"?
With each genre, we read "masterful" examples then the students write their own, using the techniques they have seen in action. Our first genre study is the short story. I wanted to put the connections I have developed through Twitter and the English Companion ning to work to push my students' writing even further this year. Enter: two real live authors.

I learned about Australian author Margo Lanagan's thought-provoking story "Singing My Sister Down" when I put out a request on Twitter about stories people taught that their students loved. Come to find out, Margo Lanagan has her own blog ... and my students are blogging ... so two plus two equals four! My students are reading her story this weekend, and we will discuss it tomorrow. Then we will look at her blog together with their homework being to write to her -- to comment on her blog like they hope people comment on theirs. I hope some of them are proud of enough of their own blog posts about her story to share the link with her and invite her to comment. Writers sharing their blogs ... perfect.

Then later in the week, my students will participate in a Skype call with author Clyde Edgerton. This is a contact I made through an EC ning friend Yvonne Mason. Yvonne shared with me that she knew Clyde Edgerton and offered to contact him on my behalf. Clyde graciously accepted my invite to talk to my students about how he crafts short stories. My students will have read one story by him and talked about what they see in his writing style. They will also have completed a first draft of their own stories and be ready for revision tips from him. Writers talking together about how they write ... perfect.

Yes, I am excited to a silly degree ... I hope my students are at least half as excited :)

1 comment:

  1. I'm happy to see the internet is helping you in your field.