Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Read and Contribute to the National Gallery of Writing

Today, on the National Day of Writing (October 20th), the National Council of Teachers of English and the National Writing Project unveiled the National Gallery of Writing to the public. The National Gallery of Writing is a virtual space—a website—where people who perhaps have never thought of themselves as writers—mothers, bus drivers, fathers, veterans, nurses, firefighters, sanitation workers, stockbrokers—select and post writing that is important to them. The Gallery accommodates any composition format—from word processing to photography, audio/video recording to text messages—and all types of writing—from letters to lists, memoirs to memos.

Celebrate the National Day on Writing by writing, encouraging others to write, and posting to the National Gallery of Writing. You can contribute to the section of the gallery devoted to the Lowcountry Writing Project as well as read the published work of others from the Lowcountry, about the Lowcountry.

The National Gallery of Writing is now accepting submissions and will continue to accept writing through June 1, 2010. The National Gallery on Writingwill remain open for submissions/viewing/reading through June 30, 2010. The Gallery will provide a lively reading experience and an opportunity for writers to share their craft and find a broad and diverse audience. And, all writers can find useful tips and guidelines from the National Council of Teachers of English website.

You can follow the Lowcountry Writing Project's efforts to promote the National Day on Writing in the news at:

* The Moultrie News
* The Post and Courier in an interview with a poet from the Citadel.
* The National Writing Project website published an article that included discussion of the Lowcountry Writing Project events.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Sample Assignments for "Celebrate the Lowcountry through Writing"

Lowcountry teachers in grades K-12 and in college classrooms are invited to submit their students' work to the Lowcountry Writing Project "room" (or local gallery) of the National Gallery of Writing Website. You can download a packet of information from http://www.citadel.edu/writingproject/. And you can also look below for some sample assignments.

If you are planning to submit student work to the National Gallery of Writing as part of the National Day on Writing celebration, please send Amy Hudock an email at amy.hudock (at) tridenttech.edu

She will add you to a list of participating teachers here on this blog, and list you and your school in press releases. It's great publicity for your school!

Also, if you have created an assignment for the "Celebrate Charleston in Writing" theme, please send it along to share.

The student work needs to be posted by the end of the month. Amy is willing to help you with the posting part. Let her know!

Celebrate the Lowcountry through Writing

For your creative writing portfolio, you will write one descriptive/narrative piece (fiction or nonfiction) of 250-750 words (1-3 pages) in which you:

• Center on a location in the Lowcountry.
• Tell a fiction or nonfiction story using this setting as an important element.
• Imagine your audience as people who have never been to the Lowcountry, but are thinking of taking a vacation here.
• Use sensory detail and imagery (sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell).
• Use the first person (“I”).
• Use the techniques of writing we have been discussing.
• Post this writing (once approved by me) to the National Gallery on Writing by September 20h at www.galleryofwriting.org I’ll show you how to do this in class.

What can you write about? Here are some possible ideas:

• Go to a sporting event in the Lowcountry. Write about your experience, focusing on what the place means to you.
• Go to a historic landmark in the Lowcountry. Write about your experience, focusing on what the place means to you.
• Write a fictional story with the Lowcountry as a setting.
• Visit a Lowcountry restaurant and write a review, focusing on how the place itself makes or breaks the experience.
• Walk though your favorite place in the Lowcountry, describe it, and tell us what it means to you.
• Interview a Lowcountry public person who is quite a character. Interview him or her in a place special to him or her. Write about this interview, and what makes this person a character, and why this place is important to him or her.
• Describe your Lowcountry family home and the generations who have lived there.
• And there are plenty of other possibilities!


How can you make the Lowcountry a better place? Pick a local issue and then argue for your position in 750 words.

To prepare you to write the formal editorial essay, read the chapters on research and argument in the Prentice Hall Reference Guide. Also, you can view the powerpoint presentation on how to write argument we covered in class at: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/workshops/pp/index.html

This editorial should make a clear thesis statement, present at least three reasons that give reasons why your thesis is true and offer two pieces of evidence to back up each of your reasons, and offer counter arguments.

The editorial should follow this outline (or an approved variation):

I. Introduction
II. Body
a. Reason 1 why thesis is true
b. Reason 2 why thesis is true
c. Reason 3 why thesis is true
d. Counter arguments
III. Conclusion
IV. Works cited page

You will publish this essay on the National Gallery of Writing website at www.galleryofwriting.org

Change to Date of Marathon

Due to overwhelming workloads early in the school year, we have changed the date of the LWP Writing Marathon from Sept 12 to October 24. The marathon had initially been planned as part of the run-up to the National Day on Writing, but it is now a follow-up activity.

Any teacher who submits student work for the Oct 19th public reading – yes, it’s Oct 19th rather than the 20th – will receive two free tickets to Writing Marathon events. (You can invite a friend to join you for an event, or you can attend two different events.) Others are welcome to attend the events, for $10/event. The list of events will soon be posted on our website (www.citadel.edu/writingproject), and you should be able to sign up online (if we get the technology to work!).

If you are a teacher and you haven’t yet submitted any student writing, there’s still time to participate. Get more details at http://www.citadel.edu/writingproject/national_day_of%20_writing.html, or contact us at LWP@citadel.edu if you have questions.

Tom Thompson

Friday, August 14, 2009

Sign Up for Digital Storytelling Class

Digital Storytelling, Fall 2009

EDUC 587 (3 Credit hours)
Sept. 1, 5, 8, and 29; Oct. 3 and 6; Nov. 3, 7 and 10
Tuesday classes 5:15-8:15, Saturday Classes 9:00 AM -5:00 PM

This course offers teachers a chance to learn about digital media that will engage and motivate their students while earning three hours of graduate credit (for EDUC 587). Participants spend much of their time working with software and applications such as Microsoft Photo Story, Windows Movie Maker, and Audacity to create, edit and showcase stories told with digital media.

Instructor: Emily Elliott, M.Ed., is an Educational Technology Specialist for Charleston County School District , the Technology Liaison for the LWP, and the director of the 2009 LWP Young Writers Camp. While completing her Masters in Educational Technology at USC Aiken, she developed the LWP's first technology course, which was offered in fall of 2008. This fall will be Emily's second time leading the Digital Storytelling course.

Teachers in Charleston, Berkeley, Dorchester, Beaufort, and Colleton counties are welcome to apply.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

National Day on Writing Teacher Packet Available

The Lowcountry Writing Project is partnering with NCTE and NWP to bring the National Day on Writing to the Lowcountry. Our theme is "Celebrating the Lowcountry through Writing" and there are many ways for interested teachers to get involved. You can: submit student or personal writing to the National Gallery of Writing Online, submit student or personal writing for a public reading and celebration on October 20, or take part in a free writing marathon event on September 12 that lets you and a friend enjoy a Lowcountry activity and write about it (if you like). If you are interested in participating in any or all of these events please contact lwp@citadel.edu or go to our website www.citadel.edu/writingproject for an information packet.

If you would like to volunteer to help with the National Day on Writing, please contact the following team leaders:

* Event Planner for Sept 12 Writing Marathon Day: Trish Vicino (with help from writing tour leaders BJ Ruddy, Richard Ridley, Delores Schweitzer, and others to be named later).
* Event Planner for Oct 20th Public Reading: Tom Thompson (with help from Lauren, Genie, Trish, Peachey, Jan, and others to be named later).
* Curator of LWP Gallery: Amy Hudock (with Trish Vicino and Lauren Roberts assisting).
* Media relations: Tom Thompson and Amy Hudock

* Contact person for CCSD teachers: Emily Elliot
* Contact person for DD2 teachers: Genie Shaughnessy
* Contact person for BCSD teachers: Trish Vicino

We need for EVERY TC to spread the word at their own schools.

Those of you who offered to help as readers or as group leaders, someone should be getting in touch with you soon. You can find these team leaders by joining our group on Facebook and clicking on their name/picture in the "members" list.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Seeking Volunteers for National Day on Writing activites

The LWP is recruiting volunteers. The National Day on Writing is coming up on Tuesday, October 20, and we need lots of help to run our local activities.

LWP Teaching Consultants
We now have a great opportunity for lots of TCs to get involved. And if you have yet to repay those three “units” of service from the Summer Institute, it’s a great way to finish that bit of business, too.

Specifically, we need the following:

* People to lead writing groups (of teachers) for mini-marathons
* Someone to handle publicity (i.e., get the word out to the schools and the press)
* Someone to coordinate the Oct 20 event (secure a forum, invite guests, create the program, etc)
* Maybe people to serve on a committee to handle the various parts of the Oct 20 event
* Someone to collect submissions and overseeing the selection of papers for the Oct 20 event
* People to read the papers and help select invitees for the Oct 20 event
* Somebody to edit whatever hard copy publication comes out of the event

Serving in any ONE of these capacities will earn you a “unit” of payback, and you can serve in multiple capacities.

Professional Writers and Editors

We need professional writers and editors to serve as mentors on writing tours for teachers. Local publications can send their writers to events, publish stories about the National Day on Writing leading up the event, and publish writing from the LWP Gallery on October 20th. And we need professional writers and editors to attend the October 20th event, with some doing readings alongside the students from Lowcountry schools.

Teachers and Community Members

Community members who want to support writing can also help. And teachers who'd like to get involved with LWP - this is a great time!

If you are interested, or think you might be interested, please join Tom this coming Friday, August 7, at noon in Capers 111, at the Citadel, for pizza and planning. He need to know how many people are coming so he can order enough pizza. Please reply to tom.thompson@citadel.edu, or leave a message at 953-1418, by Wednesday (Aug 5) to let him know.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Proposal for National Day on Writing

“Celebrate Charleston through Writing”

We're proposing that the LWP host events to celebrate the National Day on Writing. Let us know if you want to get involved!


Students will enter a writing contest "Celebrate Charleston through Writing" in which students will write about Charleston, teachers will choose the best ones to nominate, and then the winners will read at a special event on October 20th, the National Day on Writing.

“Celebrate Charleston through Writing” allows teachers to create assignments that will elicit a wide variety of research and writing skills. Students might engage in traditional, library-based research using primary or secondary sources, they might conduct interviews with friends or relatives, or they might conduct first-person research by visiting a location or participating in an activity. They could use this information in a variety of documents; for example, Standards E4-5.2, E4-5.3, and E4-5.4 list the following genres as samples: personal essay, memoir, narrative poem, personal essay, travel writing, restaurant review, editorial, essay, speech, and report.

A single activity could, of course, lead to a variety of kinds of writing. For example, a student might attend a Battery, Riverdogs, or Stingrays game, then write a narrative (of the experience), a description (of the game, the venue, the team, or the crowd), a persuasive piece (about ticket prices, the behavior of the fans, the quality of the event, or the comfort of the seats), or even write a report (on the team history, on the relation of minor-league sports to the big leagues, or on the promotional strategies used to attract fans). The document might take the form of a letter, a brochure, a report, a poem, a video, or even a web page.

The assignments will meet state standards. In every grade from first through twelfth, according to the standards, “The student will write for a variety of purposes and audiences” (Standard 1-5; Standard E4-5). Research skills are also important in all twelve grades: “The student will access and use information from a variety of sources” (Standard 1-6; Standard E4-6). Although the level of sophistication increases with grade level, students at all grade levels need to find information from a variety of sources and use that information in written documents created for different audiences and different purposes.

The SC ELA standards for 2008 (http://ed.sc.gov/agency/Standards-and-Learning/Academic-Standards/old/cso/standards/ela/) are based on the following guiding principles:

1. An effective English language arts curriculum is framed within the context of a community of learners
2. Learning in English language arts is recursive.
3. Reading, writing, communication, and research are interdependent.
4. An effective English language arts curriculum provides strategic and purposeful instruction in reading and writing.
5. Oral language and expression is foundational to literacy learning and development.
6. An effective English language arts curriculum uses literature from a variety of cultures and eras.
7. An effective English language arts curriculum emphasizes writing as a centerpiece of the school curriculum.
8. An effective English language arts curriculum utilizes all forms of media to prepare students to live in an information-rich society.
9. An effective English language arts curriculum emphasizes informational text that is relevant to our increasingly complex and technological world.
10. An effective English language arts curriculum teaches the strategies necessary for independent learning.

We (the Lowcountry Writing Project) would develop a list of genres in which students could submit their work. Teachers could choose to assign work in particular genres or let students choose their own categories. Each category would be divided in age groups, creating a matrix of categories. For example, the matrix might look like this:

Gr. K-2 Gr. 3-5 Gr. 6-8 Gr. 9-12
Web page
(any genre)
(any genre)

Participating teachers, using their own class-specific criteria, would select “winning” entries for each class and grade level; depending on the level of participation, we might have only one entry per school, or we might have grade-level entries, or even allow schools to submit one entry for each genre. If participation is high, we would encourage schools to have school-level readings, and maybe to publish school-level anthologies, to allow as many students as possible to be published and to read their work in a public setting.

Students would write and revise in August and early September, using a time-table that would allow schools to submit entries by the end of September. LWP teachers would then select winners for each grade level and genre to present their work in a public event on the National Day on Writing, October 20. Again depending on the number of entries, we might display multiple submissions in each category.

The focus of this event would be on the students and their work, but we would invite local, state and national politicians to lend their weight to the event to stress the importance of writing. We would invite, for example, Mayor Riley, Governor Sanford, Congressman Clyburn, and Senators Graham and DeMint. To pump up student interest, we would also invite some local celebrities to lend their endorsements, say a few words about the importance of writing, and maybe sign some autographs. We hope to get coverage in all the local media.

All the pieces selected for performance and/or presentation at the October 20 event would also be published either online or in an anthology of some sort.

WRITING MARATHON FOR THE TEACHERS AND SUPPORTERS. As a leading up to the event activity, we will sponsor some mini “writing marathons." A regular feature of the Lowcountry Writing Project’s Invitational Summer Institute, these events will give teachers, parents, and other community members an opportunity to experience for themselves the act of using writing to remember, learn about, make sense or, or simply recollect an experience.

Our goal is to have writing groups of 6-10 people each blanket Charleston to write about as many different facets of the area as possible. Using our contacts in the community, we will get free admission to as many site and activities as possible, such as these:

Carriage tours Ghost walks SC Aquarium Historic houses
Churches tour Downtown parks County parks Plantations
Harbor tour Museums Food tour Arts tour
Fort Moultrie Fort Sumter Sports events Theater

Some events, such as a football game or a theater performance, would have set starting times, but others could be designated as “morning” or “afternoon” events, so die-hard writers could sign up for two events. Each group would be led by a professional writer or an LWP Teacher Consultant.

As with the students, each participant could submit a piece of writing based on the activity to our local gallery to showcase Charleston, and to demonstrate how much one can learn about an area by writing about it. We would also create a “local gallery” on the “National Gallery of Writing” web site (http://galleryofwriting.org/) sponsored by the National Council of Teachers of English.

If we generate enough corporate support, we’d like to offer a slot free to every “participating” teacher – that is, every teacher whose students wrote something for the National Day on Writing. For everyone else, we would charge a nominal fee – probably $10 – to cover costs of T-shirts and supplies.

We Need . . .

*experienced writers and teacher consultants to lead the various small groups. We would like to have a sports writer, for example, lead a group to the football game at The Citadel, offering tips on sports writing and on interviewing players and coaches after the game. We would like to have a food critic lead the food tour, and a theater critic lead the theater group, offering tips on how to write a review.

*sponsors for individual events: comp tickets to a theater performance, various museums, carriage tours, a ghost walk, a harbor tour, and so on.

*T-shirts: an appropriate “Celebrate Charleston through Writing” logo, plus logos for sponsors.

*readers to help select “winning” submissions. LWP teachers will carry most of the load, but we’d like to have to professional writers and celebrity readers, too.

*advertising to get the word out: public service announcements, print ads, posters for schools and libraries, and whatever else it takes to let the community know about these events.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Create a Local Gallery as Part of the National Gallery of Writing

Why a National Day on Writing?

In light of the significance of writing in our national life, to draw attention to the remarkable variety of writing we engage in, and to help writers from all walks of life recognize how important writing is to their lives, October 20, 2009, will be celebrated as The National Day on Writing. The National Day on Writing will:

* celebrate the foundational place of writing in Americans' personal, professional, and civic lives.
* point to the importance of writing instruction and practice at every grade level, for every student and in every subject area from preschool through university. (See The Genteel Unteaching of America’s Poor.)
* emphasize the lifelong process of learning to write and composing for different audiences, purposes, and occasions.
* recognize the scope and range of writing done by the American people and others.
* honor the use of the full range of media for composing.
* encourage Americans to write and enjoy and learn from the writing of others.

What is the National Gallery of Writing?

The National Gallery will be a digital archive of compositions accessible to all through a free, searchable website—a living archive of thousands of examples of writing from across the United States.

* Each writer of any age or occupation will be able to submit one composition.
* Writers will include with their composition information about themselves and the reasons they selected and submitted it to the Gallery.
* All sorts of compositions will be accepted, including (but not limited to) electronic presentations, blog posts, documentary clips, poetry readings, “how to” directions, short stories, memos.
* On October 20, 2009, the National Day on Writing, the Gallery will be unveiled for readers.

The National Gallery features three types of display spaces all curated and collected in a variety of galleries:

* The Gallery of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).
* The Galleries of National Partners curated by groups as diverse as Google, the Newseum, Sesame Street’s Electric Company, and the National Science Teachers Association.
* The Galleries of Local Partners curated by groups as diverse as a local Girl Scout troop; a town such as Augusta, Arkansas; a community college course; a bridge club; a city such as Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; a writers group, and local business.

Become a Local Partner

Local partners can be any group, including a family, a few good friends, a club or church group, a class, a school, a workplace group, or an entire city who wants to see their work collected together inside the National Gallery. Every local partner needs one key person: a Curator who applies for local partner status and agrees to review all work submitted before it is published. You can see the existing local galleries here.

The Role of a Curator

The Curator is essentially the filter for the Gallery. While all Gallery Curators will be encouraged to be broad-minded and inclusive, they retain the authority to allow pieces to appear in a gallery or not (note: some writing not chosen from a Local Partner or National Partner Gallery will be referred to NCTE for possible inclusion in the Gallery of the National Council of Teachers of English). Curators will have access to online tools that allow them to "feature" a select number of pieces within their Gallery for a period of time. If a Local Partner Curator anticipates a heavy review load, she or he can recruit assistants who will also have access to review tools. Curators will be responsible for completing a review and triggering a review response email within one month of receipt of each submission.

Some members of the local gallery will need to assume certain roles: curator/writing assistant, October 20th event planner, publicity, fun and camaraderie organizer.

Why Should I Consider Starting a Local Partner Gallery for My Group?

For many good reasons:

* It is a way to help your group think more deeply about how, why, when, and where they write, and share ideas or information that is important to them.
* It can evoke pride, or at least a strong bond, as you see what others post to your Local Gallery.
* It can help you sharpen your own thinking about writing and improve as a writer.
* It can broaden your awareness of the perceptions and talents of others—discoveries that are often hidden in everyday writing.

Getting Started

The first thing a prospective local gallery will want to do is hold an organizational meeting. At the this first meeting, they’ll want to:

* Set a name, theme, and brief description of their Gallery.
* Set a timeline for what they want to accomplish.
* Think about creating a blog or email list or phone tree to communicate among the organizers and members.

Name a curator and maybe assistant curator(s).

* Decide who will apply for the local gallery and when.
* If there is/are an assistant curator(s), the curators will want to to discuss how they’ll handle distribution of submissions/load balancing. The curators will need to develop guidelines for reviewing submissions. See NCTE’s guidelines as a model.
* Check out the information for curators as the gallery develops.
* Use the NCTE NING Group for curators to stay in touch with other sites and gather ideas for their site.

Develop a basic PR outreach strategy

* Use the NCTE model to prepare a press release to announce the gallery once it has been approved.
* Decide on the best places to send the release.
* Make a plan for getting members to write for the gallery.
* Write Letters to local media editors;
* Focus media outreach to TV, Radio

Schedule a follow-up meeting to

* Focus on implementing decisions made at first meeting,
* Provide examples of writing that might be submitted to their gallery.
* Talk about ways of celebrating accomplishments of gallery organizers and participants.
* Make a plan for celebrating their group’s participation in the National Gallery of Writing on the National Day on Writing, October 20, 2009.

Guidelines for Choosing the Writing to be Included

While all writers should be able to express themselves and their point of view, certain kinds of writing simply do not belong in the National Gallery of Writing. Therefore, you may not post or link to writing that:

* is obscene, pornographic, or sexually explicit
* depicts graphic or gratuitous violence
* makes threats of any kind or that intimidates, harasses, or bullies anyone
* is derogatory, demeaning, malicious, defamatory, abusive, or hateful

Prohibition of Unlawful or Harmful Content

Although as the host of the National Gallery, the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) is not responsible for the conduct of writers who post here, we want the National Gallery to be a safe and educative site on the Internet. Therefore, in posting to the Gallery, you may not:

* violate any local, state, national, or international law or post any writing that would encourage or provide instructions for a criminal offense
* impersonate any person or entity or otherwise misrepresent yourself, your age, or your affiliation with any person or entity
* make available any unauthorized advertising, promotional materials, "junk mail," "spam," "chain letters," "pyramid schemes," or any other form of solicitation
* All writing submitted to the National Gallery or any Local or Partner Gallery will be reviewed "as is" and will not be modified or amended during the review process.

from http://galleryofwriting.org/guidelines.php

Recruiting Other Groups

If you’d like to recruit local galleries in your area you can contact groups and invite them to organize and you can volunteer to make a presentation to those groups on why and how to set up a local gallery.

* If the groups are already formally organized groups (e.g. a Boy Scout Troop), you can contact the president or group leader to invite them to organize.
* If the groups are not formally organized (e.g., staff and customers of a local business), look for a leader to get things going. That leader would have these attributes: interested in the project, well-organized, energetic, socially committed, might have a role like newsletter editor.
* You may also want to look for helpers in organizing a local group like local librarians or teachers.
* Think about contacting Americorps, sports organizations, Key Clubs, student clubs and NCTE student affiliates, high tech companies, film Schools or media projects, screen writers guild, Best Buy, Target
* Invite these groups to join together on October 20th for a celebration of the writing on the gallery.

Ideas for Celebrating the National Day on Writing

Host a Family Writing Night.
Students could showcase work using poster sessions, computer lab presentations, etc.
To promote the local celebration, the Partner could run a series of personalized ads including:
Hold a Back-to-School Writing Celebration Night.
Hold a Gallery Open House.
Conduct a Spoken Word/Poetry Slam Celebration.
Hold a Writers’ Showcase or “Composition of the Day” leading up to the National Day.
Invite well-known local/regional writers to share their writing processes and samples of their work at school or local group events.
Create a thematic writing event that focuses on a specific cause—this could include showcase chalk art, people writing on post-its or cut outs that could be posted on a wall or public display, graffiti art, letters to the military, writing about trauma or loss, etc.
Hold a write-in.

Suggestions for where to hold Celebrations and Events:

Senior Citizen Halls/Residences
Coffee Shops
Boys and Girls Clubs
Scout Meetings
Parent/Teacher Nights
Tech Showcases
Back to School Nights or Parent Open-Houses
Community Festivals or Events
Book Club Meetings

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Chicken Soup for the Soul Quick Story Call Out


Chicken Soup for the Soul: Count Your Blessings
101 Stories of Gratitude, Fortitude, and Silver Linings

This follow-on book to Chicken Soup for the Soul: Tough Times, Tough People continues Chicken Soup for the Soul's focus on inspiration and hope in these difficult times. These inspirational stories remind us that each day holds something to be thankful for -- whether it is having the sun shine or having food on the table. Power outages and storms, health scares and illnesses, job woes and financial insecurities, housing challenges and family worries test us all. But there is always a silver lining. The simple pleasures of family, home, health, and inexpensive good times are described.

We are looking for true stories and poems written in the first person of no more than 1,200 words. Stories can be serious or humorous, or both. They should not have been previously published by Chicken Soup for the Soul or other major publications.

Here are a few suggested topics:

How you count your blessings or express your gratitude
What made you realize that your life is good and that you are grateful
Silver linings that you have discovered in the midst of challenging events
What is really valuable in your life
Major life changes or events for which you are grateful
How you spread the message of gratitude to your family and friends
The joy of simple pleasures
The unexpected benefits of health challenges or other life changes

This book is in the process of being completed and will go to the printer in September for publication in October! It is a featured Chicken Soup for the Soul title for Christmas 2009. The deadline for submissions is soon, so if you can submit quickly you have a better chance than normal of being chosen.
If your story is chosen, you will be a published author and your bio will be printed in the book if you so choose. You will also receive a check for $200 and 10 free copies of your book, worth more than $100. You will retain the copyright for your story.

SUBMISSIONS GO TO http://chickensoupforthesoul.com/form.asp?cid=submit_story.


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Emotion Words

For memoir, you need to show emotion. Here is a list of emotion words that might be helpful!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Places to Publish Short Memoir

* Thin Threads
* Chicken Soup for the Soul
* Cup of Comfort for the Soul
* Skirt!
* Brevity

To find places to publish memoir:

* Funds for Writers
* Writers Market

Some Cool Writing Prompts

[Being Unprepared] Because you have been sick, out of town, busy at work, or working on other homework, you didn't have as much time to study for an important test as you needed. Everyone going to school has been in this situation. Think of a specific test that you took that you felt unprepared for and narrate the events. Tell your readers about the preparation that you were able to do, the reasons that you didn't get to prepare as well as you wanted, taking the test, and any significant events that happened after you took the test. Your paper should help readers understand what it felt like to be unprepared.

[Lightbulb Moment] Think of an experience when you realized that you suddenly understood an idea, a skill, or a concept you had been struggling with -- it might be something related to a class that you took or a specific athletic skill you were trying to perfect. For instance, you might think about trying to understand how to identify iambic pentameter in a poem or how to complete a Taylor Series problem in your Calculus class. Or you might consider trying to perfect your free throws and suddenly understanding how your follow-through was affecting your success. Write a narrative that tells the story of your movement toward understanding. How did you finally come to understand? What changed your perceptions and gave you a new understanding? Your paper should help readers understand how you felt to struggle with the idea or skill and then to understand.

[Childhood Event] Choose a vivid time from your childhood — You might think of the first time that you rode a school bus, of a time when you went to the principal's office, the first A you earned on a test or paper, earning money to buy something that you really wanted, and so on. Narrate the events related to the childhood memory that you've chosen so that your readers will understand why the event was important and memorable.

[Achieving a Goal] Think of a time when you achieved a personal goal — you might have finally completed a marathon or triathlon, or you might have bettered your score on the SATs or another test, or you might have learned how to use a piece of software like Microsoft Word or Excel. Tell your readers about the story of how you met your goal. Be sure that your readers understand why the goal is important to you.

[The Good and the Bad] Think about an event in your life that seemed bad but turned out to be good. Maybe you got injured and while you were waiting for your broken leg to heal, you learned how to use a computer. What makes the event change from bad to good may be something that you learned as a result, something that you did differently as a result, or something that happened that wouldn't have occurred otherwise. Tell the story of the event that you experienced and help your readers understand how an event that seemed negative turned out to have valuable consequences.

[Being a Teacher] Teaching someone else how to do something can be rewarding. Think of a skill that you've taught someone else how to do. Perhaps you taught someone else how to swim, showed someone how to bake a souffle, or helped someone learn how to study more effectively. Think about the events that made up the process of teaching the skill, and narrate the story for your readers.

[Changing Places] Every place has things that change — sometimes as the result of economics, sometimes because different people are involved, and sometimes for no clear reason that you know about. Think of a change to a place that you know well. Perhaps the local grocery store you grew up with as Smith and Bros. Grocery was bought out by a regional chain like Food Lion or Winn Dixie. Maybe the First National Bank of Smithburg suddenly becomes NationsBank. Perhaps the change was more personal -- an older sibling moves out of the house and your family changes the room to a guest room or an office. Think of a specific change and narrate the events that occurred. Readers should know the details of the change, and they should know how you feel about the changes that occurred.

[Personal Rituals] Describe a personal ritual that you, your friends, or your family have. Think about the personal steps that you always go through when you prepare for an exam. Do you sit at a desk, spread books and notes across your bed, or use the kitchen table? Do you have to have something to drink...soda, water, jolt? There are numerous things that we do for which we create our own personal rituals. Choose one event — studying for a test, writing a paper, dressing and warming up before a game, or preparing and having a special family meal. Narrate the events that take place when you complete your ritual so that your readers understand the steps that the ritual includes and why you complete them.

[Standing Up] Choose a time when you did something that took a lot of nerve, a time when you didn't follow the crowd or a time when you stood up for your beliefs. Perhaps your friends were urging you to do something that you were uncomfortable with and you chose not to cave into peer pressure. Maybe you took a stance on a political issue that was important in your community, or you might have Whatever you choose, think about the details of the event and write a story that tells about what happened. Your narrative should show your readers why you decided to make a stand or try something that took nerve, give specifics on the events, and share how you felt after the event.

[Disagreeing] Think of a time when you disagreed with a decision that had been made and did something about it. The decision might have been made by someone you know personally — your Biology teacher announced a new policy to grade for spelling and grammar on your quizzes and homework, or an older family member decides to cancel a subscription to a magazine that you liked to read. You might have responded by discussing your concerns with your principal or dean, or you might have decided to get a part-time job to earn enough money to buy the magazine yourself. Or the decision could have been made by someone you never met — perhaps your school board decided to change the lines in your school district so that you would have to go to a different school, or your state legislature has passed a bill that you disagreed with. Your response might have been to write a letter to the editor, to your state representative, or to the school board. Whatever happened, your job is to write a paper that narrates the events that occurred -- from the decision that was made to your response. Be sure that your paper gives enough details that your readers understand why you disagreed with the decision and why you felt that your response was appropriate.

From: http://tengrrl.com/tens/019.shtml

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Memoir Daily Log

Submitted by Lilless McPherson Shilling

Journal. Delores led us in our journal writing. She asked us to write a six-word memoir based on some of the following topics: your first job, your first kiss, what you were like in elementary school, secret of being in a good relationship or marriage, your biggest regret, the best trip you ever took.

Delores gave us a handout of personal history questions from Real Simple magazine and suggested a website for six-word memoirs: www.smithmag.net/sixwords.

Snacks. I introduced the snacks, including some that were “memoir” snacks: orange slices, ginger snaps, fig bars, popcorn, and fruit cocktail.

Odds & ends. We talked about plans for the October writing marathon.
Book discussion. We discussed Bret Lott’s memoir, Before We Get Started. The conversation centered on Lott’s reliance on faith and the similarities and differences between Lott and Stephen King.

Similarities: Both authors discuss rejection, the influence of their wives, and the importance of discipline and honesty in writing. Both admire the writing of Raymond Carver, a short story writer.

Differences: King uses humor and profane language to humorous effect. While both referred to other writers, Lott uses much longer quotes.

Mini-lesson. Amy led us in a mini-lesson on dialog. She asked us to think about when to use it, when not to use it, how to use it, and how to make it sound realistic. She said, “In memoir, it’s a way of bringing other peoples’ voices into your text.” Our exercise was to create a dialogue between Stephen King, Bret Lott, and William Zinsser. She handed out “12 Exercises for Improving Dialog.”

We devoted the rest of our session to response group and writing time.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

June 24, 2009 Daily Log

8:30am- class started with another gorgeous sunrise over The Citadel Beach House on IOP.

Journal exercise by Lynda Biel used art to release the literary muse. We used crayons to color & draw images inside a mandala circle. Our guided imagery was to answer the questions: How do our 'masks' help us with our writing? When do our 'masks' hinder our writing?

A visitor to the beach club provided Amy with a potential opportunity to do some future interviewing of a WWII veteran. This could lead to an oral history project for the Lowcountry Writing Project.

Amy led us in a mini-lessons on seeing objects in a new way. This produced a writing assignment that we shared with each other.

We had a time to share our current writing project. Many meaningful remarks were exchanged.

Delicious snacks were enjoyed throughout class.

We talked about future assignments: the Brett Lott review and meta-text, in letter form.

Have a creative evening,

Volunteer at a Creativity Summer Camp at Edisto


Hey you!
What are your summer plans?
Want an excuse to go to Edisto Island and have a blast, all while making a difference in the lives of some of the coolest
kids you’ll ever meet?

SideWalk Chalk presents CREATE, a summer art and writing camp for the students of Jane Edwards Elementary in Edisto.

We are looking for volunteers to assist us in this adventure!

If you are an artist, writer, gardener, actor, or athlete, AWESOME! We’ll put your skills to use. If you are not any of those, AWESOME! We’ll still put you to use!

CREATE is to take place over the month of July and will include workshops in short story writing, painting, poetry, photography, gardening, and much more! We will also be putting on a play and creating a mural for the school.

Come help out for a day, a week, or the whole month.

Here are the dates and times that are available to volunteers:

Monday July 6 Monday July 20
Tuesday July 7 Tuesday July 21
Wednesday July 8 Wednesday July 22

Monday July 13 Monday July 27
Tuesday July 14 Tuesday July 28
Wednesday July 15 Wednesday July 29
Thursday July 30
Friday July 31



Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Daily Log Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Prepared by Delores Schweitzer

We started today’s class with a journal prompt by Grier. She explained how she uses and grades journals in her classes, emphasizing the importance of give students some choice and flexibility in how they approach the assignment, while still holding them to high expectations in length, specificity, and commitment to following directions. Grier brought a stack of folders that held postcards or pictures clipped from magazines and books. Typically, the students choose a folder (sometimes, she lets them choose a second time if they don’t like what they pick), and then they get instructions on what to write. Examples are:

• Write a letter trigger by the picture. Who is the letter to? Who from? What is it about?
• Write a story about what you see. Make sure there is a beginning, middle and end.
• Describe what you see in sentences (or brainstorm clusters, for younger students).
• Draw your own version of the picture and change some element. Then tell about that change.
• Use the picture as a bridge to a personal experience or other art (music, book, movie) or idea you have encountered in the news, science, the Bible, etc.

Grier invited us to choose whatever approach we wanted. Our pictures ranged from photos to portraits to landscapes, providing for lots of interesting stories.

Snacks were provided by Delores, featuring Latte Poundcake with coffee glaze (all decaf, so as not to give us the shakes), fruit tossed in lavender syrup, Fig Newtons and packages of trail mix. The recipe for the lavender syrup is as follows:

Boil one cup of water. Remove from heat. Steep two tablespoons of lavender flowers in the water for at least ten minutes. Strain flowers from water, or better still, use a tea ball to contain them while steeping. Reheat water to boiling, remove from heat, and add one cup of sugar, stirring until it is dissolved. Allow syrup to cool and store in the refrigerator. Use as a dressing for fruit salads – together, they make a great fruit compote to go on top of pancakes, pound cake or vanilla ice cream!

Next, we discussed our readings from In Brief: Short Takes on the Personal and On Writing Well by William Zinsser. We started with the stories from In Brief that we liked, considering the techniques that worked for us and why. Some of the favorites were “Swimming with Canoes,” “A Sense of Water,” “Bobcats,” and “The Indian Dog,” while none of us seemed particularly crazy about “The Missing Star.” We spoke at length about the virtues of creating short pieces that convey feelings and events in a variety of different ways, and how these stories might be used in a class situation. Upon reviewing our experience of the Zinsser book, we found it closer to a style manual than the Lott or King books. Having signed up for a memoir class, it is not surprising that we prefer Lott’s and King’s approaches to teaching the craft of writing with carefully chosen examples from their own lives. However, we agree that Zinsser has many valuable things to say about writing, and it is a text well-suited to college classes.

In today’s Mini Lesson, Amy asked us to visualize one particular object and write it down. After checking that we had all done this, she asked us to explain how our mothers were like the objects we chose. We did so, and then shared what we wrote. Amy explained that there was power in unexpected comparisons, as shown in some of the originality of pairings, and our challenge as writers is to avoid the schmaltzy and cliché, looking for original ways to present ideas and paint visual pictures for our readers. She also emphasized the importance of looking at the hard stuff – the unattractive parts of the people we are describing – because this lends credibility to our objectivity as storytellers.

After the Mini Lesson, Teri and Lynda went to the computer lab, as their King discussion was completed yesterday. Grier, Lilless and Delores met to plan the discussion of Bret Lott’s book on Thursday. After this, we spent the last hour of class writing and/or revising our memoirs.

Amy closed class with reminders of what to bring and how to prepare for the Beach House activities tomorrow.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Daily Log, Monday, June 22, 2009

Submitted by Lilless McPherson Shilling

Today we moved to a new room because the Young Writers Camp has so many people. (Good news for them.) Our new room is more intimate.

Teri asked us to write about mentors and mentoring. This led to a good discussion of who have been our mentors and whom we have mentored.

We discussed Stephen King’s book On Writing. Following are some of the key points people made:
I trusted his judgment because I saw his journey.
He shared his imperfections. People don’t want to read about perfect people.
I liked that he talked about four to five hours a day of reading.
It’s okay to copy someone else’s style.
We have a tendency to separate our writing from literature.

Amy led us through a mini-lesson where we combined character and place and added plot by using filmmaking techniques. She asked us to visualize a person with whom we have had a complex relationship. First we described the person’s hands. Then we visualized something characteristic those hands would do. Then she said, “Take the camera lens and focus on where this person is.” Finally she asked us to introduce a story, a plot line. Our work based on this exercise was creative and emotional.

We spent the rest of our time working in the computer room until we met to discuss our homework for Tuesday.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Writing Marathon

The Summer 2009 Memoir Class went on a writing marathon in downtown Charleston today. The participants can leave pieces of writing from the marathon on the blog by:

* clicking on the "comment" link below
* typing or copying and pasting text into the editing window
* clicking on "publish"

You can read them by clicking on the "comment" link.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Memoir Class Update

Daily Log—Lowcountry Writing Project—Memoir Class
Thursday, June 18,2009

Lilless opened class with a guided imagery journal prompt. She told us to close our eyes and picture our favorite place. She read a series of instructions mixed with questions: she helped us relax our bodies and then helped our minds come up with details of the place. Then she told us to open our eyes and write about the place and we did. Amy discussed shifting the schedule a bit since she could build on Lilless’ prompt. We read our journals aloud—we’d chosen beaches, reading, a city in Italy.

Then came Amy’s mini-lesson on writing. She had us look through our journal entry for sensory details; the lesson worked since most of had few or primarily visual ones. So she talked about “show not tell” and emphasized that we should incorporate details that go beyond the visual since the reader relies heavily on them.

Next came an exercise…a guided meditation involving snacks. Amy instructed us to choose a snack, take a bite, and then write what it tastes like. Then we read our responses.

The book groups met:

Lyn and Teri—King
Dolores, Lilless, and Grier—Lott

Response group time followed; we stayed with our book groups.

Then we went up to the computer lab to read and write and to learn how to post Assignment 1 to the class blog. Kudos and thanks to Amy for making the process easy.

Memoir Class Update

Daily Log for June 17, 2009
Prepared by Delores Schweitzer

Today, we took our first class trip to the Citadel Beach House. We started the day with a journal prompt by Delores, where we explored our perceptions of water as a means of comfort or transformation. After writing, we shared and discovered many different ideas of water, from threatening to soothing, secular to spiritual.

Delores brought a friend along, Deanna Ryan, who is a teacher and writer from Georgia that happens to be visiting her this week. Deanna introduced herself and we all introduced ourselves. Because we now had six participants, we broke into two Response Groups: Grier, Lilless and Deanna were in one group, and Lynda, Teri and Delores in the other. In these groups, we shared our first drafts of Assignment #1.

At 10:30, we gathered with the students of the Summer Institute for a talk and Q&A with author Bret Lott. He shared his story of how he went from being a park ranger wanna be to an RC Cola salesman to a writer and teacher. His story kept us entertained and gave us much to ponder, especially in the form of some of these quotes:

“To be a writer is to sit on your butt alond and write things down.”

“The writer doesn’t know anything but is trying to find out.”

Advice on teaching: “Remember the basics.”

Advice on self-editing: “It’s hard to do because you like what you wrote. Get people who are cold and calculating and ruthless and intelligent who love you. Develop another part of your mind that is cold. Read each time like you never have seen it before and keep cutting to make your writing stronger.”

Flannery O’Connor said every time she sits down to write, she imagines a reader saying, “I don’t see it. I don’t get it. I don’t see it.”

On the difference between truth and fact: “You can’t stray from fact. The variable factor in writing that is untrustrworthy is me. Fess up early that this is me and I am doing the best I can not to alter things to make me look good.”

On teaching reading in school (SI book group on Readicide): We think books are important and we try to jam too much down their throats when they are not mature enough to understand. Catcher in the Rye and Catch-22 are heirloom books, passed down as important by another generation of teachers. We accept the offering rather than finding other books more relevant and teachable. We need to keep reading contemporary lit – dipping in to find something that speaks to them.

On the writing process:

• “Your imagination comes from your experience.”
• “No one knows what makes your mother tick. But you know what buttons to press.”
• Faulkner, when asked if he ever had the desire to get his characters out of trouble, said, “By that time, it’s too late and I’m chasing them with my pencil.”
• The high point of writing is when your characters do something unexpected, because then they have taken a on a life of their own.
• A writer must have empathy for others’ actions, not be judgmental.
• When writing a novel, each chapter is a kind of short story. Characters move forward, have an epiphany or miss an epiphany.

On how we can carry techniques of writing fiction into other types of writing:

• Have a personal stake in whatever you are writing.
• Be as specific and detailed as possible.
• Have fun.
• Communication clearly and from the heart what you think.
• To stay focused, write the question you are trying to answer or address at the top of each page.
• Realize that all your opportunities to write can hone your skills. For example, he views his comments on student papers as little persuasive essays.

The visit with Bret Lott wrapped up at about 12:00. We closed with Author’s Chair on the back porch and departed.

Revision Checklist for Memoir

Revision Checklist for Memoir

____ Is the opening engaging?
____ Does it start with action?
____ Does the memoir piece focus on one moment, one time, one specific incident? (as in “One day I..” and not “I often do this…..”
____ Does it tell a story, with a clear beginning, middle, and end?
____ Do flashbacks (if there are any) make sense? Do they provide context for the story being told?
____ Can you find sensory details?
____ Do you feel transported to the place where the story is happening?
____ Does the piece include dialogue?
____ Do you feel that you know the characters? Do you care about them?
____ Does the author use multiple techniques to reveal the character to the reader (characterization)?
____ Does the author reflect on the significance of the story?
____ Does the “I” learn something from the experience described in the story?
____ Has the author used any key objects for symbols?
____ Does the author use figurative language?
____ Does the author use varied sentence structures?
____ Does the author limit use of adverbs? Adjectives?
____ Does the author use strong, specific, and active verbs?
____ Is the piece free from grammatical and spelling errors?
____ Does the ending provide a sense of closure?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Daily Log - Lowcountry Writing Project - Memoir Writing Course
Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Only one complaint about the course: Amy has set too high a standard with all the healthy food she brought on Monday.

We agreed that all the objects Lynda brought for prompts stimulated the creative writing process. We wanted to be able to choose more of them to write about. The end of the table was covered: tiny Japanese dolls, paper stars, antique eyeglasses, sacred Hawaiian beads, beads on a string, costume jewelry, a crystal ink well, and much more.

Amy gave a mini-lesson on the difference between character and characterization. The former is the description of a person; the latter is an an explanation of how the person changes over time and the techniques used to reveal the character, i.e., compare and contrast.

Next the blog lesson following the booklet that Amy authored. We wre too proud of ourselves! Some of us blogged for the first time.

Not much time left for working on Assignment I. That will keep until the afternoon or evening.

Memoir Course Daily Log

We started the Open Institute -- "Creative Nonfiction: Crafting Short Memoir." We got off to a strong beginning!

Daily log June 15: We started off with introductions and journal writing using this prompt: "What is memoir and what do I want with it?" Next, we discussed different definitions of memoir, and debated the question of "truth" in memoir, pointing to current scandals in which writers have claimed to have written nonfiction, but really didn't. We also discussed how family members react to appearing in our writing, with many of us telling stories about how people have had different perceptions of the same event. Next, we did a mini-lesson on using focal points such as character, place, and symbol, and completed a listing exercise. Finally, we went over the course writing assignments, looked at models for assignment 1, "You and Yours (writing about character), and got started on it. We got a great deal done!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Summer 2009 Literary Events

Monday Night Blues

Monday Night Blues is a free, weekly poetry event with a featured poet and an open mic. Hosted by Ellie Davis and Jim Lundy. At four years, it is Charleston's longest running poetry event. Every monday night at 8pm.
East Bay Meeting House, 159 East Bay Street, Charleston
For more information contact Ellie Davis 843-437-1958

Richard Garcia’s poetry discussion group, 7:30pm Circular Church, Charleston.

Richard Garcia leads a poetry discussion group on the first and third Wednesday of each month at Circular Church. 7:30, Lower Lance Hall, Circular Church, 150 Meeting. Free. For information or to confirm: richardgpoet@earthlink.net - 843-795-0115

Poetry Series at the Charleston Public Library

The South Carolina Poetry Society, the Lowcountry Initiative for the Literary Arts, and the Charleston County Public Library are proud to present a poetry reading series at the Main Library. For further information, call 805-6930.

June 13 – The Poetry Society of South Carolina Writers’ Group. 2:00pm, Mt. Pleasant.

The PSSC Writers’ Group has been meeting in one form or another since the 1920s (they were originally called “Study Groups”). It is a wonderful forum to get insightful critiques of a poem of yours that perhaps has been eluding greatness. The meeting is Sunday, June 13 at 2:00 at The Palms, 937 Bowman Rd., Mt. Pleasant, 29464. Bring 6 copies of an original poem so everybody will have one to mark up. If you have questions or want to RSVP, contact Moderator, Connie Pultz, at 216-2964.

June 23rd 2009

Philip Bowman lives in Florence, SC, where he practices psychiatry. His chapbook, The Museum of Childhood, was published by USC in 2008. He is a graduate of Wesleyan University and The Medical College of Virginia and studied at the Sorbonne and The Goethe Institute. He served in the U.S. Army for eight years. He has received several national awards in poetry and has been published in Poetry, Poetry Northwest, Southern Humanities Review, Journal of the American Medical Society, and elsewhere.

Barbara G.S. Hagerty is a Charleston native whose chapbook, The Guest House, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Books in 2009. In 2008, her poetry appeared on The Best American Poetry blog, in the anthologies Aftershocks and Kakalak, in ART, Literary Mama, and elsewhere. She is also the author of two books that explore the metaphors and cultural meanings inherent in the bags we carry. She has an M.A. degree in Creative Writing from The Johns Hopkins University.

David Treadway Manning is a Pushcart nominee with poems in a number of journals and six chapbooks including The Ice-Carver, winner of the 2004 Longleaf Chapbook Competition, and most recently Light Sweet Crude (Pudding House, 2009). His full-length collection, The Flower Sermon (2007), is available from The Main Street Rag Publishing Company.

For the fiction writers

WritersMarket.com lists more than 600 contests & awards. Here are three fiction contests with July deadlines:

Bard Fiction Prize is intended to encourage and support young writers of fiction to pursue their creative goals and to provide an opportunity to work in a fertile and intellectual environment. Deadline is July 15. The winner receives $30,000 and appointment as writer-in-residence at Bard College for one semester.

National Writers Association Short Story Contest is intended to encourage fiction writers and to recognize those excel in this form. Deadline is July 1. Charges $15 fee. This contest awards prizes for 1st place ($200), 2nd place ($100), and 3rd place ($50).

Writers' Journal Annual Romance Contest is previously unpublished romance fiction. Deadline is July 30. There is a $7 reading fee. This contest awards prizes for 1st place ($250), 2nd place ($100), and 3rd place ($50).

WritersMarket.com lists more than 6,000 magazines, book publishers, literary agents, contests and more. Log in (or sign up) at www.writersmarket.com to get instant access.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Still time to enroll in this summer's Memoir Class

Eng. 551: Special Topics in Composition
Creative Nonfiction: Crafting Short Memoir
Summer LWP Open Institute
3 Graduate Credits
$300 Fee (the rest of tuition and books paid for by LWP)
Two week session: weekdays 8:30-12:45 June 15-26

Course Description

Memoir.  Personal narrative.  Narrative Nonfiction.  Personal essay.  Short memoir.  We can call what we will be writing in this class by any of these names, but they all share one central element – a first person narrator who reflects on what Barrie Jean Borich calls “the actual” in his or her world.   She writes: 

“We begin a work of creative nonfiction not with the imaginary but with the actually, with what actually is or actually was, or what actually happened.  From this point we might move in any direction, but the actual is our touchstone.” 

Short memoir tries to tell what actually is or was; however, it is not journalism.  Short memoir differs from journalism in that it uses elements of fiction and poetry – characterization, setting, symbolism, figurative language and more – to tell a story. 

What will we do? We will read.  We will write.  We will discuss.  We will explore memories, places, and significant objects.  We will go out into the community for a writing tour of downtown Charleston, and to the Citadel Beach House on Isle of Palms for inspiration from nature.  Brett Lott will be joining us as a special guest, and we will meet up with other LWP groups.  We will write online, explore how to identify markets for your work, and work toward publication (three beginner writers got published out of last years’ class). We will have fun in a non-stressful, supportive, word-friendly environment. We will give you permission to be a writer.

Course Texts


On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft  by Stephen King
In Brief: Short Takes on the Personal  by Judith Kitchen & Mary P. Jones
Before We Begin:  A Practical Memoir of the Writer’s Life  by Bret  Lott

Course Syllabus

Monday, June 15
Citadel campus
         Journal Writing
         Creative Nonfiction Discussion
         Writing Assignments for Course:  Focal Points
         Writing Time
         Final Discussion

Tuesday, June 16
 Citadel campus
         Journal Writing
         Reading Discussion
         Mini-lesson — Blogging (meet in computer lab)
         Writing/blogging time (computer lab)
         Writing Response Group
         Final Discussion

Wednesday, June 17
Citadel Beach House IOP
         Journal Writing
         Reading Discussion
         Writing time
         Writing Response Group
         Author’s Chair
Thurs, June 18
         Journal Writing
         Reading Discussion
         Writing Response Group
         Writing/blogging time (computer lab)
         Writing Assignment 1 due
         Final Discussion

Fri, June 19
Starting Place East Bay Coffee House
         Writing Marathon
         Presentations at end
         Lunch together

Monday, June 22
         Journal Writing
         Reading Discussion
         Writing/blogging time (computer lab)
         Writing Response Group
         Final discussion

Tuesday, June 23
         Journal Writing
         Reading Discussion
         Writing Response Group
         Writing/blogging time (computer lab)
         Writing Assignment 2 due
         Final discussion

Wednesday, June 24
Citadel Beach House IOP
         Journal Writing
         Reading Discussion
         Guest Speaker:  Bret Lott
         Writing time
         Writing Response Group
         Author’s Chair

Thursday, June 25
         Journal Writing
         Reading Discussion
         Writing Response Group
         Writing/blogging time (computer lab)
         Final discussion
Friday, June 26
Citadel Campus Last Class
         Mini-lesson:  submit for publication (in computer lab)
         Writing/blogging time (computer lab)
         Final read around
         Assignment 3 due
         Final Discussion

Plan to meet for a dinner or lunch together and to pass out the Anthology Collection and receive back all graded assignments.
Course Instructor

Amy Hudock, Ph. D., is a writer, teacher, and editor who lives in South Carolina with her daughter. She is a co-founder of Literary Mama, an on-line literary magazine chosen by Writers Digest as one of the 101 Best Web Sites for Writers (2005 and 2009) and by Forbes as one of their 100 Best of the Web (2005). She is also the co-editor of Literary Mama: Reading for the Maternally Inclined (Seal Press 2006) and of the book American Women Prose Writers, 1820-1870 (Gale 2001). Her work has been anthologized in the Chicken Soup for the Soul and Cup of Comfort series, as well as in Ask Me About My Divorce, Mama, PhD, Single State of the Union, and Mothering a Movement. Read about her at www.amyhudock.com

Friday, May 29, 2009

May 30 2009 Writing Marathon

Welcome, writers, to the Lowcountry Writing Project blog! Please post something you wrote today at the marathon by clicking on the "comments" link and copy and pasting in your text. Hit publish, and you're done. Then, take a look at what others wrote! If you can't get this to work, please post on our Facebook page or copy and paste the text into an e-mail to ahudock@pinewoodprep.com

I can post it for you!

To go to our Facebook page for pictures, messages, and posts, go to http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=98767315633