Daily Archives: May 21, 2009

Gail Carson Levine on Writing

The Writer’s Oath

I promise solemnly:

1. to write as often and as much as I can,

2. to respect my writing self, and

3. to nurture the writing of others.

I accept these responsibilities and shall honor them always.

The above is at the end of the first chapter of award-winning fantasy writer, Gail Carson Levine’s Writing Magic, a terrific book for kids who want to write fantasy stories.  My fourth graders write them every year as part of our Cinderella unit and I have found this book an excellent resource.  They love taking the above oath and they love repeating Gail’s first three rules:

1. The best way to write better is to write more.

2. The best way to write better is to write more.

3. The best way to write better is to write more.

Long long ago (before Harry Potter) I was a huge fan of fantasy literature, but could find nothing about teaching it so ended up writing a book about teaching it myself.  Now it is much more acceptable to use it in the classroom, but most books on teaching writing tend to focus more on other genres.  A longtime fan of Gail’s novels, I was delighted to see her book and discover how excellent it is.  I’ve known Gail ever since she won a Newbery Honor for Ella Enchanted (long story for another blog post) and so knew she had been teaching writing to a small group of kids for years. This book is the thoughtful outgrowth of those experiences along with many examples from her own experience writing fantasy.

And now this incredibly thoughtful writer has just started a blog! In her introductory post she writes, “For my blogging life, I intend to post once a week, and I will probably blog mostly about writing, but I don’t know that for sure.”

I look forward to seeing where she takes this new writing vehicle.



Filed under Teaching, Writing

A Few Coraline Musical Links

NY1 has a little feature with some bits from the show here.

My theater companion, Betsy Bird, has a very thorough review here.    It was a lot of fun seeing it with her!

And one more positive review is here.

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Filed under Neil Gaiman