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7 Types of Phrases That Add Detail to Your Writing — Author Toolbox

Welcome to your crash course in phrases of the dependent variety! Do you feel like you're at school, yet? Don't fret, there's no test. This time. Let's start with the basics: What is a phrase? A phrase is a word or group of words that expresses a single concept within a sentence. It is dependent, [...]

3 Types of Book Reviews You Can Write and How to Write Them — Author Toolbox

A book review -- your opinion about a book based on evidence from it. We've seen them on Amazon and Goodreads. We may have even read a few... but are we writing them, too? Wait? Writing a book review? I can't do that. I don't know how to do that... Please don't ask me! Please! [...]

“Remember the Tulips” — Flash Fiction, week 10

He took a deep breath. “Your dad was a wicked one when he tried to turn you back down the aisle instead of giving you away.” He laughed. “You pulled him instead to make sure he gave you away, though.” He paused. “Strong-willed, your father. Too strong-willed to stick around here, so I couldn’t even watch you grow up.”

4 Steps for Setting up a Writer’s Notebook (Classroom Edition)

Earlier this week I was asked what it takes to set up writer's notebooks in the classroom: cost, time, content, etc. I shared why I use them in my post last year (The Wonderful World of Writer’s Notebooks), but this post is dedicated to the logistics. (You're welcome, Jeffery Frieden!) To start, let me say that [...]

My First Rejection: “Engraved Memories” — a short story

At the end of last month, I entered a short story into my first ever public contest. The Blank Page Challenge is a brand new contest for writers to try their hand at creating a story using a picture prompt. Each story is read by a panel of judges, and then they choose the top three to [...]

Writing Goals for the Classroom — 2018 Edition

Back in August, I posted about the changes I'd made to Writing Goals for the Classroom. I also mentioned that they'd probably change again (and hopefully improve) based on student feedback and personal growth. Well... It's time! We've adjusted the format from the first six weeks quite a few times, so I'll walk you through each [...]

3 Questions (and Answers) about Epistolary Writing — Author Toolbox

Epistolary.  What? Is that even a word? It sounds like a word that would get your mouth washed out with soap if you say it in front of your mother. Is it one of those words? Absolutely not. It's a beautiful word that inspires beautiful writing. Epistolary writing is...

Empowering Students One Phase at a Time — Innovative Teaching Academy

When I was a student in middle school and high school, life was simple: go to class, write down the assignment, complete the warm up, listen to the teacher, take notes, read the assigned passages, answer the questions, turn in your work, and repeat tomorrow. Was every class like this? Didn't any class use other [...]

5 lessons I’ve learned about writing flash fiction — Author Toolbox

When you try something new, your expectations are set quite high. Some people give up on the new thing when it becomes too difficult or when the high expectations they set for themselves aren't showing. Last year I decided to join in on the first #FlashFicHive challenge (hosted by Anjela Curtis). This month-long event challenged writers to create [...]

Scrambling before NaNoWriMo… Author Toolbox

NaNoWriMo... Gibberish, right? That's not even a word. How do you say it? To writer's, it is the month when the entire world ceases to exist... when life on Earth becomes a distant figment of our imagination... when we forget all the other hobbies we had if they don't include a notebook, a pen, or [...]

When Writing Takes a Backseat – Author Toolbox

If your September has been anything like my September, then you have been a busy bee. School started, so my days are filled with teaching, lesson planning, and after-school activities. (Thank you #51Writers for today's topic of Oxford commas. As you can see, I am definitely on #teamoxfordcomma!) The problem... Okay, so we're busy. What [...]