"A month that smells like notepaper and pencil shavings"

September 6, 2023
"A month that smells like notepaper and pencil shavings"
Write Now - A Newsletter of the National Writing Project
“The windows are open, admitting the September breeze: a month that smells like notepaper and pencil shavings, autumn leaves and car oil. A month that smells like progress, like moving on.”
—Lauren Oliver
Person writing in a notebook

Are you looking for ways to build routines, classroom community, and writers?

Check out this article on informal writing by Debbie Dean and Adrienne Warren for some whys and hows. They remind us that “when informal writing at the beginning of class is a routine, students develop as writers. They come to know that they can write regularly, that they have something to say. They develop fluency, the ability to put thoughts into words. With regular informal writing, students not only develop as writers, they develop as a community, too. They know that they have this shared experience in common, this routine they can count on.” The article also shares pragmatics, including sample prompts.

Read more →

The Write Time with Kate Dickerson & Meghan Wilson Duff

Are you wanting to make sure every child sees themself in the books on your classroom library shelf?

Don’t miss The Write Time coming up on September 12, a National Writing Project webinar in which educators interview children’s and YA authors. This month Kate Dickerson, executive director of the Maine Science Museum, interviews Meghan Wilson Duff, about their new children’s book, How Are You, Verity? in which Verity, a neurodivergent child with a love for sea creatures, interacts with neighbors to discover the true meaning behind greetings and salutations. Like many authors interviewed on The Write Time, Duff says they wanted to make the book they wish they’d had when they were a child. The show contains references to many more books with neurodivergent characters written by neurodivergent writers.

Save the date →

Note cards with red, white, and blue with a sign that reads, "Courage lifes in every heart, one day it will be summoned." Below, the following is written: Write to Remember 9/11 - Students are encouraged to: learn the Flight 93 story; discover how the 40 heroes overcame fears and uncertainties; write and share how lessons learned from the 40 can be applied to solve some of today's issues

Are you looking for ways to teach about September 11?

14 states required September 11 to be taught in history classes. Others encourage a moment or a day of remembrance. If you are looking for a way for students to learn about September 11 and connect that learning to their current lives, consider checking out these resources and writing invitations connected to the Flight 93 National Memorial. Students can participate in their Virtual National Day of Learning to learn about the passengers who gave their lives to save the U.S. Capitol then write about bravery in their own lives. Register your class for the Write to Remember 9/11 project so that they can publish their writing next to other students from across the country.

Learn more/sign up →

Write Out

Get ready together for Write Out 2023: Poetry, Prose, and Parks!

As we like to say, there is no wrong way to do Write Out! With this year’s Poetry, Prose, and Parks! theme for Write Out 2023 we imagine that there are many possibilities given your place, time, and context. We also realize that it is not necessarily easy to come up with the best way to celebrate on your own. Therefore we invite you to join us for one of two upcoming information sessions in the Write Now Teacher Studio. These sessions will connect you with others who have been celebrating Write Out over the years and give you time to imagine what might be possible for you in 2023. And, if these dates don’t work for you, join us in the Write Out space in The Studio where we are already doing some fun and energizing writing to get ourselves started.

September 14 Information Session →

September 21 Information Session →

Write Out community →

The UCI Writing Project, The Write Center, and the National Writing Project present: Healing Hearts, Growing Minds: Creating Just and Equitable Classrooms through Next-Generation Literacy Instruction, In-Person Program December 7, 2023

Do you like to plan ahead?

The UCI Writing Project invites you to their 2023 December Literacy Conference: Healing Hearts, Growing Minds: Creating Just and Equitable Classrooms. The conference will be offered in-person and virtually on Thursday, December 7.

Register today →

National Writing Project 50th anniversary

Do you want to make sure not to miss the party?

Help the National Writing Project (NWP) Kick off its 50th year at NCTE in Columbus in November. We’ll spend a day on Thursday developing a collaborative vision for the next 50 years of NWP, and cap that day off with a social event celebrating the impending retirement of our beloved executive director, Elyse Eidman-Aadahl. Throughout the convention you can follow the NWP strand to learn with and from NWP educators and stop into the Wick Poetry Center’s Maker Bus to create a poem for NWP’s Traveling Stanzas project. Be sure to also sign up for Sunday Brunch where we will be celebrating teacher breakthroughs with MaryAnn Smith and Sandy Murphy.

Register today →

Write Now Teacher Studio

Members of The Studio are bringing lots of energy to the beginning of this school year. Join us to find your September playlist, recommendations for classroom routines and rituals, and more conversations about writing, teaching, and learning than we can list here. Join For Free Today

Take a look at what we have been up to!