Creating Young Writers, ed 3, is scheduled for release on August 11–just about two weeks from now. It feels like forever since I sent in the manuscript, but it’s honestly only been a year. What takes so long, you ask? It’s mainly the layout. This is a complex book, filled with student writing and art, wonderful new writing guides designed for primary writers, modeling samples, book recommendations, photos, and much more. It also includes a CD, which allows for easy duplication of papers and other materials, as well as projection of writing or lessons onscreen.
The BIGGEST change in this new edition is the overall design and organization. It’s totally redone. Readers wanted everything pertaining to a given trait in one place–so now that’s how it is. All information is readily accessible–a snap to find. In one chapter I introduce a trait, present writing guides (aka, rubrics–both primary and advanced), and walk you through some of the best primary writing ever, much of it including art. Then, in the very next chapter, you will find ways to teach that trait: first, a marvelous list of trade books for the trait (well-annotated with many lesson ideas), and second, numerous lessons and strategies, many of them new to this edition. This time around, emphasis is on modeling–showing kids what writing and revision can look like.
The other big change is that this edition, I emphasize the importance of creating an environment in which traits can flourish. That means the traits aren’t taught in isolation, but as an integral part of writing process and writing workshop. All of Chapter 2 is devoted to connecting traits to process and showing ways to launch a smooth-running workshop and feel confident doing it. Thanks to my amazing friend Judy Mazur (of Buena Vista Elementary, Walnut Creek, CA), I had an amazing model of workshop to use as the lynchpin for this chapter. Thank you, Judy. You and your students should have your own reality show.
Lovers of books will be delighted to find that this edition includes many, many more trade books–together with more lesson ideas connected to those books. I’ve included a number of nonfiction titles because more teachers are emphasizing nonfiction, and children tend to write what is read to them. Many students have little other than textbooks as models of nonfiction writing; we need to make this genre more enticing than that. With authors like Ben Hillman, Karen Wallace, Nicola Davies, Sneed Collard and others, we can show them that nonfiction can be as exciting as any story. It can be filled with voice and enthusiasm, and done well enough, can teach readers things they’ll remember forever.
And of course, everyone is concerned about Standards. This new edition shows just how the traits link to the Common Core Standards of Writing (see the post for July 25).
Please remember that date: August 11. And if you would like to pre-order a copy of Creating Young Writers 3/e, or get information for your district, please contact our wonderful marketing director Danae April (yes, her name is like poetry): email@example.com She will be happy to take care of you! If you love the book–and I hope you will–please take a minute or two to write a short review on Amazon. Thank you so much. This book is for all those teachers who know just how hard it is to teach writing in the 21st century, and who do it anyway.