Teachers Write!

Hi! My name is Jen, I’m a teacher, and I want to publish a book.

Here at Nerdy Book Club we rave and gush over our favorite books, our reading memories, our dreams for how readers can achieve world domination…but have you ever thought about writing a book yourself?

Can you imagine what it might be like to gaze at the cover of a book and instead of feeling an itch to crack it open and find out what story the book holds inside, feeling pride at already knowing the story because you wrote it?

What if you could help a child, tween, or teen realize they don’t have to only read beloved books…they could be writers themselves?

What an empowering feeling for us to realize for ourselves and to be able to pass that along to students. The problem is, it isn’t as easy it sounds for so many reasons. The good thing is that by reading so much we have a great start – we know about characters, we know about setting, we know about conflict and resolution and what we love and hate about what we read.

We are readers – now it is time to also be writers. We model reading for kids, why not model writing? After attempting NaNoWriMo in November, I have a taste of what trying to write a book is like. I didn’t “win” at NaNoWriMo and since November have wanted to find time to get back to my work in progress. I decided I would wait until the summer…and now summer is here!

I am thrilled to be working with authors Kate Messner and Gae Polisner to share my experience as I focus on writing this summer and to support other teachers and librarians who are also challenging themselves to write this summer! You can visit my blog, http://www.teachmentortexts.com/ every Sunday to read about my progress and to share your ups and downs on this writing journey! Are you up for the challenge?

Hi! My name is Kate – I write books for kids full time now, but I was also a writer during the 15 years I spent teaching middle school English, and I found that it improved my understanding of the writing process and my ability to help students grow as writers, too. I believe “walking the walk” has a huge impact on teachers of writing and their ability to instruct and empathize with student writers, so I offered to work with Jen and Gae and organize the Teachers Write! virtual summer writing camp for teachers and librarians on my blog.

Truth be told, it’s already bigger than I could have imagined; we’ve had just about 200 people sign up in the first 24 hours (make that 350+ in the first two days!), which may result in some creative thinking about how we run things. But what a great problem to have! We may need to tweak some of the details about how it all works and experiment a bit, but we’re going to have one heck of a writing community this summer, and I can’t wait to write alongside everyone!

Here’s the information/sign-up post if you’d like to learn more:


Happy writing!

Hi! My name is Gae Polisner, and I won a  first-ever 2011 Nerdy Award for my debut YA, The Pull of Gravity. Wait?! What?! Was I not supposed to start out that way?! 🙂

I actually wear my Nerdy proudly, and proudly claim belonging to this extraordinary community of teachers and librarians who do so much to share their love of reading.

It’s with great excitement that more and more of them (you) have begun to find my Friday Feedback blog each week, giving feedback to my words, and, better yet, posting your own words, trusting that it’s a safe place to do so — to feel inspired and share work.

What is the point of Friday Feedback? Well, here’s the thing: There’s plenty of constructive (and not so constructive) criticism to go around in the writing world (and that is USEFUL!), but sometimes what we need most to keep going is for someone to also see the jewels, the shiny spots, (or strong points) in our writing and to highlight those and encourage us to keep going. I know I do.

So, that’s what I try to do on my Friday Feedback blog — to  celebrate the gems while also gently receiving and offering any bit of truly constructive, forward-going feedback that might spur more creative adrenaline, hope and progress.

And I’m doubly excited to have this opportunity to encourage each other in this small way this summer in conjunction with Jen’s weekly posts and Kate’s Uber-Awesome Virtual Writing Camp. ←- not the actual name.

Hope to see you there!

Jen Vincent works with K – 12 students who are deaf and hard of hearing as a hearing itinerant teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. She tweets at @mentortexts and blogs at http://www.teachmentortexts.com . She’s thankful for everyone who has read a word of her writing and been supportive…whether they liked it or not!

Kate Messner is the award-winning author of more than a dozen current & forthcoming books for kids. Her titles include OVER AND UNDER THE SNOW (Chronicle), EYE OF THE STORM (Walker/Bloomsbury), the popular MARTY MCGUIRE chapter book series, and a July 2012 mystery, CAPTURE THE FLAG, with Scholastic.  In past lives, Kate has been a TV news reporter and middle school English teacher. She lives on Lake Champlain with her family.  Follow Kate on Twitter @katemessner and learn more at her website: www.katemessner.com.

Gae Polisner is the author of the Nerdy-winning The Pull of Gravity (also named to Bankstreet College’s list of Best YA Fiction 2012). Her next YA is forthcoming from Algonquin Books. When she’s not writing (parenting, or working her part-time “day” job) she can be found swimming and/or basking in the open waters off of Long Island. Follow Gae on Twitter @gaepol, join her on her facebook author page https://www.facebook.com/gaepolisnerauthor, or find out more about her at her website, www.gaepolisner.com.