After thirty-plus years of writing (fiction, especially novels, and non-fiction), teaching writing, directing writing programs, and working with teachers, I want to share my ideas and materials with whoever can benefit from them.
I have always taught at the college level, but have worked with secondary teachers in workshops and summer institutes; many of my graduate students have become secondary teachers. I can say, therefore, that the usefulness of the materials to be found here is not restricted to college teaching.
Some of my most important teaching lessons came from high school teachers in the first place.
On this site you will find an accumulating archive of materials for use in the writing classroom, essays about writing and creative process, essays about teaching. They are available for download, free. Please use anything you find useful. I appreciate being credited if you use these materials with other teachers; please refer them to this website as well.
There are three categories of resources here:
The Handout Bank contains items for use in a writing class. Some are assignments; some are used to structure what happens in class; some are general advice on writing. Some of these handouts pertain to creative writing (fiction and non-fiction) and some to writing idea-driven, more or less academic essays. They were created for college-level students, but many could be used in, or modified for, secondary teaching. I invite you to use and adapt them at will.
On Teaching Writing contains materials for writing teachers, from faculty development workshops and my graduate writing pedagogy seminar.
On Writing and Creative Process contains essays, meditations, quotations, all sorts of reflective thinking on the mysterious business of working with the imagination and the often unconscious creative faculty. There’s a bit of overlap between this category and the Handout Bank; I have used some of these as handouts in creative writing courses. The handouts that have ended up here are the ones that I think of as more philosophical, less obviously tied to a pragmatic classroom teaching agenda.
A note on navigation: the list of items in each category may be longer than the drop-down menu can accommodate. Not to worry. On the top page of each category (On Teaching Writing, On Writing and Creative Process, The Handout Bank) you will find an expanded table of contents, giving you a brief snapshot of each individual item. The title of each item in a table of contents is a link taking you to that item.
The page titled Emerging Thoughts is a space for thinking, in more or less public, about writing and teaching writing. If you want to leave a comment on a post (and I hope you will), clicking on the title of the post will take you to the page on which you can do so.
From time to time, a post may also be archived under one of the other categories.
After teaching at a women’s college for over 25 years, I tend to use “she” as the default pronoun, especially when referring to students.
For those who may wonder, the photographs punctuating this site are mine unless otherwise credited.