Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Volunteer Opportunity

We, Voices of the Valley, are seeking writers who are interested in a nonprofit volunteer project focused on interviewing and writing the stories of international Red River Valley residents.

We seek to connect local writers with the diverse population that resides in the Red River Valley Region, while offering a local, artistic experience for the entire community. The relationship that is formed during the interview process will be integral to the project, and the story should be a reflection of both the interviewee and the artistic vision of the writer.

Potential interviewees could include New Americans, refugees, or citizens originally from a different country. In collaboration with their interviewees, writers will compose international residents’ stories in a creative nonfiction format.

Stories should be 2000 to 2750 words, written in a creative nonfiction format (not journalism). All well-developed stories that meet the project requirements will be included in a bound copy of Writing Stories: Voices of the Valley, 2nd edition. Three to four stories will receive a time slot at the University of North Dakota Writers Conference for a public reading.

-Interviews should be completed by February 15th.
-Final Drafts should be completed by March 2nd.
-Collection goes to print March 9th.
-Voices of the Valley reading is scheduled for Thursday, March 26th at 6:00 p.m.

If interested, please contact Erin Kunz (erin[dot]lord[dot]kunz[at]gmail[dot]com) or Emily Hill (emily[dot]dubord[at]gmail[dot]com) for more information.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Monday Musings: Lessons learned from shadowing students

What would someone following a student in your school see throughout the day? Is yours the class that breaks the tedium for students? Are you the teacher who honors student learning, questions, and concerns and makes students feel like a vital component of a collaborative venture?

See what happens when a veteran teacher turned coach shadows two students for two days. -From Grant Wiggins' blog

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Writing Weekend Prompt

Write along with the Assignments Matter Task Jam Force Workshop taking place this morning in Moorhead, MN, facilitated by Teacher Consultant Karen Taylor.

Prompt:  Think about a time, whether in the classroom or in another area of your life, where you gave someone a task, and the result was not what you wanted. What was the purpose of the task and the desired result? What happened? Reflect on why you think the result was different from what you expected.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Winter Writing Retreat

Attention all RRVWP Teacher Consultants:

The Red River Valley Writing Project is pleased to announce that we are sponsoring our third annual Winter Writing Retreat February 27-March 1, 2015, at Maplelag Resort near Calloway, Minnesota (north of Detroit Lakes off Hwy. 59).

At the Winter Writing Retreat, participants will have a chance to generate new writing as well as work on drafts of previously written pieces if they so choose. Our writing time at Maplelag will feature writing to prompts, draft expansion activities, writing groups, revision time, whole-group sharing, and individual editing/coaching. In addition, participants will have some down time to try their hand (and feet) at cross-country skiing, skating, snowshoeing, and/or hiking on Maplelag's ponds/lakes and wooded outdoor trails.

A weekend at Maplelag normally would cost $275.00 per person; the RRVWP will pay all but $75.00!
Included in this low $75.00 Writing Retreat fee:
-lodging for two nights/three days,
-all meals (Friday evening meal, three meals on Saturday, and two on Sunday),
-full resort access (NOT including equipment rental: Ski rental is $15 per person, snowshoe rental is $5. Skates are no charge.),
-free wireless internet–bring your own laptop.

Participants must make their own travel arrangements. Once we have our group defined, we will facilitate carpooling for those who wish to do so to cut down on transportation costs.

If you would like to partake of this wonderful opportunity to write, please send the following by Wednesday, Feb. 4, to Pam Fisher at Central High School, 115 N 4th St., Grand Forks, ND 58203.
-a non-refundable deposit of $75.00. Please make your deposit check payable to Maplelag (memo line: RRVWP writing retreat).
-an email to Pam (pam.fisher[at]gfschools[dot]org) to indicate that a deposit check is on the way and
-include a brief explanation of why you would like to attend this writing retreat and what you would like to accomplish there.

We have room for only 9 participants at our Winter Writing Retreat. If we have more participants apply than we can accommodate, preference will be given to active TCs and recent "graduates" of the Summer Institute. We will also take into account a participant's reasons for wanting to attend.

If you have any questions about this Writing Retreat, please contact Pam Fisher.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

AuThursday: A Report from the Fargo-Moorhead Book Club

During our past two book club meetings we had the pleasure of discussing Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell & The Great Greene Heist by Varian Johnson. Our group enjoyed discussing these two books. Conversations ranged from topics on the likelihood of sequels to finding the right readers for these two books.

Middle Grade readers looking for a complex heist tale set in a middle school will find just that in The Great Greene Heist. According to a recent tweet by Varian Johnson, Jackson Greene returns to the scene for a sequel in 2016.

Eleanor & Park offers readers an 80's love story that both mature teens and adults will never forget. If there ever was a book equivalent to pushing the rewind button to listen to a favorite song over and over again on your Walkman, Eleanor & Park may just be that book.

Our book club meets for the first time in 2015 on January 30th to discuss Neal Bascomb's The Nazi Hunters. We hope to see you then!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Writing Weekend Prompt

Today's prompt is another spark word: BLIZZARD. Write a memory involving this word, a slam poem, a humorous anecdote, a fictitious piece -- the sky's the limit!