Winding Oak's Bookology Magazine

A Writing GPS

GPS_clipFor a cou­ple of years run­ning I was hired for two-week “writ­ing road trips” across the south­west­ern Min­neso­ta prairie. On my dai­ly jour­neys I often passed with­in a few miles of the banks of Lau­ra Ingalls Wilder’s Plum Creek. But I didn’t have time to stop and vis­it Famous Author Land­marks. I had been hired on as a “Famous Author” myself, to vis­it a series of schools and talk to stu­dents about writ­ing. I would spend the morn­ing in a school with hun­dreds of kids packed into the gym, and then charge down coun­try high­ways to anoth­er school so small that the entire 3rd grade was made up of six lit­tle boys.

I was on dis­play in these out-of-the-way places as proof that there are real peo­ple behind those names on books. But I also want­ed to inspire the kids I met to be more enthu­si­as­tic writ­ers. I want­ed them to see writ­ing as a chance to reach into their deep­est hid­den selves, and then to reach back out to oth­ers with what­ev­er sto­ries they found squir­reled away inside. But that’s not always an easy thing to do when you only have 45 min­utes and a big group of kids. I had to come up with a lot of atten­tion-grab­bing activ­i­ties — activ­i­ties that tru­ly taught some­thing about writ­ing, but were also “fun” enough to stick.

Now that it’s many thou­sands of words, kids, and teens lat­er, I’ve fig­ured out a bit more about teach­ing kids how to write, and I’m going to share what I’ve dis­cov­ered — here, on a reg­u­lar basis. If you’re act­ing as a “writ­ing GPS,” hop­ing to guide kids towards writ­ing with more con­fi­dence, more imag­i­na­tion, and more finesse — but espe­cial­ly more fun! — I’d love to have you come along for the ride.


6 Responses to A Writing GPS

  1. Norma Gaffron March 12, 2015 at 9:14 am #

    Sounds tir­ing but grat­i­fy­ing. Good for you! You nev­er know where your influ­ence may end.

    • Lisa Bullard March 13, 2015 at 8:08 pm #

      Very grat­i­fy­ing, Nor­ma! There is noth­ing like meet­ing young read­ers face-to-face to remem­ber why I love to write for kids!

  2. Eileen Beha March 12, 2015 at 5:24 pm #

    I’m look­ing for­ward to “tak­ing the ride” with you. I so often receive emails from aspir­ing young writ­ers, and I’d love to share some of your insights with them.

    • Lisa Bullard March 13, 2015 at 8:46 pm #

      I hope you will find them use­ful, Eileen! Thanks for com­ing along for the ride!

  3. jillesbaum March 16, 2015 at 7:53 am #

    I’m look­ing for­ward to read­ing, Lisa!

    • Lisa Bullard March 17, 2015 at 8:34 pm #

      Thanks for rid­ing along, Jill!

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