This Nerdy Book Club blog post, The Power of Listening, by staff development expert Clare Landrigan stopped me in my reading tracks. More accurately, the third to last line is what did it -- "Our conversations with them [students] are what spark the love of reading and help them develop a reading identity."
Say what? A reading identity? Merriam-Webster says a personal identity is "the distinguishing character or personality of an individual." So a reading identity could be defined as the distinguishing character or personality of a person's choice in reading material.
This set off a flurry of inquiry in my brain. What is my reading identity? It must change over time, right? Today, I'd describe mine as 1) heavily nonfiction and 2) focused on children's literature. This is very different from my early mom years which would be best described as 1) cereal boxes and 2) children's literature. (Hmm. Maybe there's a correlation there?) Right now, my 6 year old nephew's reading identity is 1) How To books and 2) Magic Treehouse.
What is your reading identity? How has it changed? Would you like to make a shift in it?
If you are an educator, can you zero in on each of your students' reading identities? Can you help them describe and develop their own?
If you are an author or illustrator, how does your identity (reading and personal) inform your work? Your voice? Your choice of next project? The way you share your books?
Lots of questions with no right answers. Just a bit of introspection on a beautiful winter day.
Even though I'm no longer in the classroom as a hands-on educator and I spend my days (and nights) writing instead of teaching, I still read educator blogs and books. I want to know how you, amazing teachers and librarians, are thinking about literacy development and the challenges you face. Hopefully, my books will help you!
The Great Lakes Great Reads award bestowed by the Michigan Reading Association is an annual program to recognize excellence in writing for books about or written by authors with ties to the Great Lakes region. The awards given annually are for Adult and Children's Books. Children vote for their favorite book and winners are announced in March of that year.
STRETCH TO THE SUN: FROM A TINY SPROUT TO THE TALLEST TREE ON EARTH has been nominated for 2019-2020.
Color me proud to be in such great company!
If your class is voting, be sure to complete your ballots and submit by January 19, 2020. Instructions are shown below.
SCBWI-Iowa is hosting my presentation, Finding Your Agent Match, via webinar on February 10, 2020. This is a topic near and dear to me because I know that the right agent partner is invaluable. Yes, it took me many years and two tries before I found the right match for me. But I can help you shorten that process. This isn't meant to be braggy, but the hour you devote to this webinar and the resulting WORK you do, just might change the trajectory of your career.
Hopefully, your agent will be a long term business partner, creative collaborator, negotiations champion, and possibly the go-between for difficult conversations with your publisher. But finding an agent, especially the right agent for you, can be overwhelming. Where do you start? This breakout focuses on preparing for — did you know querying most effectively does NOT begin with your query letter? — and finding the best agent fit for you and your work. It’s not enough to find an agent; the better goal is to find your agent match. Carrie Pearson’s experience spans 12 years in the children’s book industry as an author, SCBWI Regional Advisor and consultant. She’ll share why she’s had three agents (the third one’s the charm!), help you think differently about your agent match, and give you tools to find him/her.
When: Monday February 10th at 7:30pm (CST) through Zoom
Cost: $10 SCBWI members, $20 nonmembers
Registration open now! Sign-up for your spot here.
Webinar will be available 2 weeks after the presentation to attendees.
Questions can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
This blog shares insights on the craft of writing children's books and the publishing industry, and supports creators and educators on their journeys.
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