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...
Sisters!

Sisters!

If I haven’t gotten much writing done lately, it’s because I was privileged to have three sisters (and two nephews) descend on me recently. It was like a “sister retreat” or partial family reunion. There are six kids in our family. I’m...
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...
Graphic novel makes computer science fun

Graphic novel makes computer science fun

A YA/teen graphic novel can make computer science education fun and easy?! The bad news is that roughly half of high schools don’t allow computer science classes to count as credit toward graduation. The good news is that now someone has made computer education...
Kids’ Writing Contest Supports Literacy

Kids’ Writing Contest Supports Literacy

Writing contest for kids: Calling all writers in grades 5 to 8: Fight for literacy and get published with World Literacy Canada! The annual Write for A Better World contest is back with the prompt to write a 400-word story about looking at yourself through another...
Pam Withers in Montreal and Montana

Pam Withers in Montreal and Montana

Just returned from Toronto/Montreal/Ottawa, where I did school and library talks and visited my son. I also did a road trip to Montana, where my sister Priscilla and I visited our niece Esther near Philipsburg, a town that looks like it is straight out of a Western....

Whirlwind tour

Whew! Just back from doing Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa  in less than a week (even did a presentation in Tsawwassen, BC early this morning after my late-night flight got in!). Thanks to all the libraries, schools and librarians that supported me, including Hillcrest...
Bungee Jump

Bungee Jump

Thirteen-year-old Chris and his family are setting up a bungee jump in his backyard. It’s a real large-scale bungee jump off a bridge that connects his backyard to a small island owned by his family. Not only is it going to be the coolest attraction around, but...