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NaNoWriMo for Poets? PAD Challenge for November?

NaNoWriMo for Poets? PAD Challenge for November? | Creative Writers | Scoop.it
Okay, we're getting closer to November, which for some writers of fiction means it's getting closer to NaNoWriMo time. (Btw, NaNoWriMo translates into National
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NaNoPoMo?

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The 120 Most Helpful Websites For Writers in 2015

The 120 Most Helpful Websites For Writers in 2015 | Creative Writers | Scoop.it
There are many websites about writing around, but it's time consuming to sort the decent from the mind-bendingly awesome. So here's a list of the best 120!
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Writing Fiction? 10 Common Writing Errors That Make You Look Like a Newbie

Writing Fiction? 10 Common Writing Errors That Make You Look Like a Newbie | Creative Writers | Scoop.it
Many first-time writers fall into traps that can decrease the quality of their piece, and these newbie blunders can diminish their credibility.  
Sharon Bakar's insight:

Some very good advice.

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Making a living from writing, writing from making a living

Making a living from writing, writing from making a living | Creative Writers | Scoop.it
For authors from Ken Kesey to Nathan Filer and Christie Watson, conventional working life has provided a vital resource – and not only in getting the rent paid
Sharon Bakar's insight:

Use your working life to provide the material for your writing life.

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Under no circumstances write (merely) what you know

Under no circumstances write (merely) what you know | Creative Writers | Scoop.it
Is the age-old adage of ‘Write what you know’ really the best advice to give to new writers? Author and editor Siobhán Parkinson shares her thoughts.   Let’s say your name is Amy and you have lived in a three-bedroomed semi-detached house in a nice estate on the outskirts of a medium-sized town in the Continue Reading →
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The American Scholar: How to Write a Memoir - William Zinsser

The American Scholar: How to Write a Memoir - William Zinsser | Creative Writers | Scoop.it
Be yourself, speak freely, and think small
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Should Ethnicity Limit What a Fiction Writer Can Write?

Should Ethnicity Limit What a Fiction Writer Can Write? | Creative Writers | Scoop.it
“YOUR BOOK is an interesting perspective on China […] but just a Western perspective. You can never understand the Chinese.” The man in the audience was Chinese, in his mid-40s, and in a polite, non-confrontational manner, had just dismissed my recently published novel, The Incarnations. I...
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Terrible Writing By Great Writers

Terrible Writing By Great Writers | Creative Writers | Scoop.it
The following selection of terrible writing by otherwise great writers (Daniel Clowes, Isaac Fitzgerald, Gillian Flynn, Damian Rogers, Mac McClelland, and Steve Almond) appears in Drivel, a project...
Sharon Bakar's insight:

Somehow comforting.

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Where to Find Story Ideas So Good, They Practically Write Themselves

Where to Find Story Ideas So Good, They Practically Write Themselves | Creative Writers | Scoop.it
(Tip: Get a free copy of Jim Magwood’s So You’ve Written a Book. Now What? Your coupon code is at the end of this article.) Jim Magwood spoke at the Writers of Kern meeting in Bakersfield, Saturday. His topic? How to craft suspenseful plots from news headlines. Magwood is the self-published author of suspense novels: Nightmare, Sanction, …
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This Writer Reads 365 Short Stories a Year. Here’s Why

This Writer Reads 365 Short Stories a Year. Here’s Why | Creative Writers | Scoop.it
Here’s how reading short fiction helped one writer improve his craft, and how he finds time to read 400 stories a year.
Sharon Bakar's insight:

This is the best bit of writing advice anyone will ever give you.

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The 4 Hidden Dangers of Writing Groups

The 4 Hidden Dangers of Writing Groups | Creative Writers | Scoop.it
Writing groups can cause fatal frustration, deep self-doubt, and sometimes years of wasted effort. Learn the most common dangers of writing groups, and find out how to improve your group to give yo...
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Sheila Packa Poetry Blog: How to Teach a Poetry Workshop

Sheila Packa Poetry Blog: How to Teach a Poetry Workshop | Creative Writers | Scoop.it
How to Teach a Poetry Workshop
Recently, grants have been available for Community Arts Learning. This is a wonderful opportunity for artists/writers and members of the community to develop their skills. The key to successful arts workshops is a lesson plan. Lesson plans are simple, but they will help the artist stay focused and organize the time so that the experience is productive. The younger and larger the group, the more essential is structured time.

Here is a sample lesson plan for poetry workshops for children. This can be adapted for adult learners as well. Children who are 4th grade and younger developmentally may not grasp the metaphor but they can learn to use sound patterns and the five senses.

The Lesson Plan for a Children's Poetry Workshop

Age: grade 4-6 (often it's been about 20+ students)
Time: 1 hour (and it could be 1:15 min)
Goal: Students will practice poetry and learn to use the 5 senses in description and use figurative language.



Materials: the workshop leader should bring good example poems. The writing prompts that you plan should relate to these examples.
It's helpful (preferred but not absolutely necessary) to have another adult in the classroom if you have a large group. This person can assist with some students' needs (esp if there are special needs kids)--a little one to one coaching.
Students should have paper and pencils

Introduction to Poetry:

I begin by asking students to tell me what poetry is. They have interesting answers. Praise any interesting observations. I will talk about 5 minutes about what poems are: they create a picture and sound for the reader. They can be a story, a list, a letter, a blessing, or a memory.

I'll read an example poem and ask the students to tell me what they noticed about it...to reinforce the definition of a poem. We will also notice sound elements: rhyme, alliteration, rhythm, etc. I point out figurative language and define the word metaphor.

Practice Poetry:

The goal is to teach students to use the five senses when they write description and to use figurative language. I approach the project lightly to make it fun. I give them rules: 1. write fast, 2. don't worry about spelling or punctuation 3. write about what is important to you and 4. be specific. Students are writing first drafts. I tell them not to expect it to be perfect. We are just going to play with words. (These rules of flow writing are adapted from Natalie Goldberg's book about generating new material, Writing Down the Bones)

Writing Prompts are then used in the classroom. Each writing exercise is given about 5 minutes for students to write.

Prompt 1. Metaphor: Students will hear an example of a persona poem. (I'll read them a poem I have by John Haines). They will then be asked to choose an animal and write at least 3 descriptive phrases related using as many of the 5 senses as possible. Next step: write the poem. Begins with "I am....." The students will be asked to pretend that they are the animal. They will use the phrases to help them build the poem. We are looking for a poem of at least 8-10 lines.

Prompt 2. Learning how to use specific details. Students will be asked to write a list of short phrases, specific details, about the area around where they live. In can be a backyard or a place that they frequently go to play. Next, students will hear an example of an autobiographical poem called "I Am From" by George Ella Lyon. This poem is a list poem. It begins, "I am from clothespins/ from Clorox and carbon-tetrachloride./ I am from the dirt under the back porch./ I am from the forsythia bush/ the Dutch elm/ whol long gone limbs I remember/ as if they were my own." Students will then use their own details to write an autobiographical list poem of their own.

Prompt 3. Students will use their imagination to write a poem that begins with one of these prompts: (often I decide the prompt during class when I learn about their interests or other classroom projects). I ask them to use a sound element--either rhyme or alliteration.
a journey poem that starts with "If my arms had wings..."
OR a list poem of excuses or reasons that starts "Because" (they are asked to use the word because at least 3 times)
OR a letter poem that is written from a pet or from a favorite object.

Reading Out Loud:

After students do 3 writing exercises. I like to offer them an opportunity to read the new poem to the class. These are all rough drafts, so nobody should expect polished work. It's "work in progress." I give some short instructions about posture and breath for the best projection. Students enjoy sharing their work. I don't force anybody to read. It should always be volunteered.

Whenever a student reads, observe the strengths that they have. "That poem has wonderful vowel sounds," for example. "That poem uses alliteration. That poem is a vivid picture. That poem has a strong beginning or a strong metaphor." This is essential. Avoid negative feedback in a short workshop, it will dampen enthusiasm and cause self consciousness. Avoid laughing at the efforts. If participants feed judged or self-conscious, they will withdraw their willingness to read rough drafts.

Reading the work is a fun closure for the poetry workshop. I help the students read if they need that, and I remind them how to be good listeners. I often get amazing and great poems from the kids.

Feel free to use or adapt my lesson plan to your own needs. Each writer/artist should teach from their own strengths.
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Top Ten Art Therapy Visual Journaling Prompts

Top Ten Art Therapy Visual Journaling Prompts | Creative Writers | Scoop.it
There is a palette of possibilities when it comes to journaling for health.
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Rude awakening: three essential rules for writing good sex

Rude awakening: three essential rules for writing good sex | Creative Writers | Scoop.it
Serious fiction should not ignore physical love, but it’s hard to get right. Here are a few lessons I’ve learned
Sharon Bakar's insight:

Writing sex is pretty difficult, so these hints are useful.

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The Millions : Lessons From No: Writers on Their Most Formative Rejections

The Millions : Lessons From No: Writers on Their Most Formative Rejections | Creative Writers | Scoop.it

Rejections bring writers together. We trade stories of abysmally long response times, boilerplate replies addressed Dear writer, and the requisite practice of pinning rejection slips to walls. F. Scott Fitzgerald covered his bedroom with the 122 rejections he received in the spring of 1919 alone. Stephen King “pounded a nail” into the wall to “impale” his rejections. Rebecca Skloot displays her rejections for The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks as a constant reminder of editorial subjectivity.

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Why writing stories about climate change isn’t fantasy or sci-fi

Why writing stories about climate change isn’t fantasy or sci-fi | Creative Writers | Scoop.it
Is this appropriate for children? Am I doom mongering? Today, the sun is shining in a bright blue sky. There are birds in the garden, and bees beginning to visit the flowers. Food, water and air are all readily available. I don’t want to give any younger readers sleepless nights about tomorrow or even the day after tomorrow. But the likelihood is that climate change will reach crisis point in your lifetimes.
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10 Tips for Writing

10 Tips for Writing | Creative Writers | Scoop.it
J. Kent Messum, author of award-winning novel BAIT and 2015 novel HUSK, offers ten tips for keeping your writing on track and heading towards success.
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Are There Really Benefits to Writing Things By Hand?

Are There Really Benefits to Writing Things By Hand? | Creative Writers | Scoop.it
Cognitive psychologists aren't so sure

Via Sharilee Swaity
Sharon Bakar's insight:

An interesting exploration of the connection between handwriting and academic success. Yes, it does seem that kids who hand write do better in school, overall. 

It makes me wonder how many people like the "feel" of handwriting in their journal, as opposed to simply typing out a journal. I, myself, still like the feeling of writing out my emotional state. What about you?  

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Heather Severson's curator insight, August 10, 10:40 AM

An interesting exploration of the connection between handwriting and academic success. Yes, it does seem that kids who hand write do better in school, overall. 

It makes me wonder how many people like the "feel" of handwriting in their journal, as opposed to simply typing out a journal. I, myself, still like the feeling of writing out my emotional state. What about you?  

Heather Severson's curator insight, August 10, 10:40 AM

An interesting exploration of the connection between handwriting and academic success. Yes, it does seem that kids who hand write do better in school, overall. 

It makes me wonder how many people like the "feel" of handwriting in their journal, as opposed to simply typing out a journal. I, myself, still like the feeling of writing out my emotional state. What about you?  

Mindy weaver-Flask's curator insight, August 11, 9:21 PM

Conflicting evidence. 

 

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Improve Your Writing Through the Power of Observation

Improve Your Writing Through the Power of Observation | Creative Writers | Scoop.it
The power of observation is a natural human ability, but one that isn't fully utilized. Learn how to implement observation into your writing process.
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“Write Every Day” is Bad Advice: Hacking the Psychology of Big Projects

“Write Every Day” is Bad Advice: Hacking the Psychology of Big Projects | Creative Writers | Scoop.it
A Flawed Axiom Write every day. If you've ever considered professional writing, you've heard this advice. Stephen King recommends it in his instructional
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Not a Real Writer: How Self-Doubt Holds Me Back

Not a Real Writer: How Self-Doubt Holds Me Back | Creative Writers | Scoop.it
When I was in high school back in the late 90’s, I had so much confidence and ambition that I got myself a copy of Writer’s Market, studied it from cover-to-cover, and started pitching a manuscript...
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An Argument for Writing Short Stories

An Argument for Writing Short Stories | Creative Writers | Scoop.it

Writers who are serious about improving and developing their craft should write short stories and get editorial feedback on them, even if they are never planning on publishing these short stories. Short stories are one of the best ways to hone your craft as a writer.

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6 Simple Tricks for Building A Strong Writing Habit

6 Simple Tricks for Building A Strong Writing Habit | Creative Writers | Scoop.it
Establishing a strong writing habit is the key to being more productive as a writer. These 6 simple tricks will make all the difference. You'll learn to ...
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James Patterson Teaches How To Write A Best-Selling Book

James Patterson Teaches How To Write A Best-Selling Book | Creative Writers | Scoop.it
James Patterson teaches an online writing class on how to write a best-selling book
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Visual Journaling

Visual Journaling | Creative Writers | Scoop.it
Visual journaling is a way to record life's experiences, feelings, emotional reactions, or one's own inner experiences. Sometimes words alone fail to describe what we feel inside. Keeping a visual journal is a creative way to respond to an internal, very personal situation verbally and visually in a sketchbook, while exploring the connection between image and words. Through visual journaling we can also become capable of articulating connnections between our own personal art-making experiences and the works of master and contemporary artists, such as Leonardo da Vinci, Edvard Munch, Eric Fischl, and Celebrity Artist Michael Bell. Go inside their sketchbooks and see how these artists make connections between their sketchbook visual journals and their large format paintings on canvas at VisualJournaling.com.
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