Learning to write: boys versus girls

Learning to write: boys versus girls

by Pam Withers & Cynthia Gill “The largest achievement gap between boys and girls occurs in writing.” —Ralph Fletcher, Boy Writers Laura’s oldest son was in second grade when his teacher took her aside and told Laura point-blank, “Paul is getting behind in...
Writing about happy Syrian refugees

Writing about happy Syrian refugees

All you need is a box to have fun. But the three kids in this box are special. They’re recent Syrian refugees (arrived in February in Victoria, BC, Canada) who were invited to a family-day welcoming picnic on Mayne Island, BC, Canada, where I spend my summers.      As...
Showing, telling and “interiority”

Showing, telling and “interiority”

The nice thing about being a writer is that there is always more writing-craft to learn. For instance, I recently attended a writers’ retreat where I learned a new word and concept: “interiority.” A sort of x-ray vision into a character. And a new rule: You can show...
BC’s best children’s authors

BC’s best children’s authors

This blog is a bit belated (technical difficulties), but last weekend I attended (and coordinated) a fantastic writers’ retreat on Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada, involving some of the best children’s writers in British Columbia. I got much out of...
Kids and online learning

Kids and online learning

I had a student as both a fifth- and sixth-grader, who had no confidence in himself in math. He has ADHD and could not focus long enough to get through a math problem that involved more than a quick answer he could do in his head. The first few months of fifth grade,...
Two courses for writers available on CD

Two courses for writers available on CD

I had a great time offering two presentations at the Willamette Writers Conference in Portland, Oregon last weekend. Both my talks were recorded and the CDs are for sale through VW Tapes,  www.vwtapes.com. I notice the site has not yet uploaded its Willamette...