Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Announcements and Sneak Preview

We received many original and fun submissions for our latest giveaway contest in celebration of TeachingAuthor Esther Hershenhorn's S is for Story: A Writer's Alphabet. I have drawn a winner, but have yet to hear back from her. If she doesn't reply soon, I'll choose a new winner. Meanwhile, I'd like to share some other news. (See the end of this post for an updated announcement regarding our winner.)

First off, congratulations to our own TeachingAuthor Mary Ann Rodman. Her middle-grade novel Jimmy's Stars was named a 2009 Children's Choice for grades 5-6 by the International Reading Association and the Children's Book Council. See the complete list of winners here.

And if you're thinking of using Jimmy's Stars in conjunction with a study of World War II, be sure to check out the wonderful online resources set up by Usborne Publishing, the book's UK publisher.

Speaking of wonderful online resources for teachers, our friends April Pulley Sayre and Gretchen Woelfle of the group blog INK: Interesting Nonfiction for Kids have announced the launch of a free online database of nonfiction books called the InkThinkTank. The database is designed to help teachers, librarians, and homeschoolers find the books they need to meet curriculum requirements in grades K-12. We've included a link to the database in our sidebar.

Our loyal readers may have noticed some other new features in our sidebar, including:
  • more links to reading lists, websites, graduate writing programs, and author/illustrator blogs 
  • a new "search" function that allows readers to search for posts containing a word or phrase not listed in our subject index
  • a "Bookmark and Share" link that lets you quickly add our blog to social bookmarking sites like Delicious and Digg, and/or share our blog with your friends and colleagues
  • and, in addition to receiving our blog posts by email, as a Google follower, or via an RSS feed, you can now include it in your JacketFlap blog reader.
As always, if you know of other resources that would be helpful for aspiring writers or writing teachers, please let us know.

And now, for our "Sneak Preview:" In case you haven't heard, next Tuesday, October 20, is the National Day on Writing, sponsored by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

According to NCTE:
Today people write as never before—texting, on blogs, with video cameras and cell phones, and, yes, even with traditional pen and paper. People write at home, at work, inside and out of school.
The National Day on Writing is meant to celebrate all forms of writing. In conjunction with the event, NCTE has created a National Gallery of Writing, a digital archive of writing samples showing how and why Americans are writing every day. The Gallery will be unveiled on Tuesday.

This Friday, October 16, we will begin a series of posts to commemorate the National Day on Writing. We will also join other Kidlitosphere bloggers by submitting our posts to the local Gallery called A Lifetime of Reading, curated by Franki Sibberson and Mary Lee Hahn, two teachers who blog at A Year of Reading. We hope you'll make plans to take part in the National Day on Writing, and post those plans here on our TeachingAuthors blog!

I'm updating this blog post a few minutes past noon on an overcast day here in the Chicago suburbs, but the sun is shining on our latest giveaway winner: Kristy Worden of Fort Myers, Florida! For her entry, Kristy wrote:
"I say, A is for Arc. Your story must get from its compelling beginning through the challenges of the middle and finally arrive at a most satisfying conclusion."
I'm happy to say that Kristy's entry led to a "most satisfying conclusion" for her. For those of you who didn't win, we hope you'll enter our next giveaway, which will be announced in early November.


Sarah Campbell said...

"Yay!" for Mary Ann and Jimmy's Stars. Thanks for the heads-up on National Day of Writing. I will be writing. For sure. Probably about the man who yelled at me this morning after I said I wished he'd keep his dogs on a leash. What makes him so angry? Questions lead to stories.

Irene Latham said...

Throwing in my WOOHOO for Mary Ann! And happy National Writing Day to all of you. :)