Author's Apprentice, The

  • Title:The Author's Apprentice: Developing Writing Fluency, Stamina, and Motivation Through Authentic Publication
  • Author:Vicki Meigs-Kahlenberg
  • Publication Date:July 2016
  • Grade Level:4-8
  • ISBN:9781571109415
  • Publisher:Stenhouse

Not convinced your students can write novels? Not convinced the work outlined in this book is true to curriculum standards, Common Core or otherwise? Then you’ve got to read this book, try it out in your classroom, and see what happens. Meigs gives you the tools that the novelist and the writing teacher in me adores—it’s dripping with hard-won truths and the grit it takes to be a writer and reviser.

—Jeff Anderson, from the foreword

“What are we teaching our students about writing, if it isn’t what actual writers do?” This provocative question begins the journey Vicki Meigs-Kahlenberg takes us on in The Author’s Apprentice.

With the popular NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)—an event each November during which participants attempt to write a novel from start to finish—as her inspiration, she reinvents the writer’s workshop using an authentic and engaging “apprenticeship” approach that is based on the writing advice of middle grades and young adult authors students are currently reading.

The book integrates classroom practices from Kelly Gallagher, Ralph Fletcher, Lynne Dorfman, and Nancie Atwell with writing practices from authors such as Rick Riordan, Lois Lowry, Gordon Korman, and Margaret Peterson Haddix. Using the experiences of these successful teachers and authors, Meigs-Kahlenberg creates a classroom where student authors contribute their words to the world and gain the self-confidence to become independent writers who apply their skills to any writing task.

In Vicki’s classroom what she does goes beyond November as she pushes kids past the limits of what they thought was possible. It stretches and accelerates their growth as writers by developing their writing fluency and stamina. It grounds their learning in the real world and gives their reading and writing purpose that matters far beyond a test or grade.

The Author’s Apprentice provides a yearlong planning guide, weekly writing challenges, ideas for publication possibilities, step-by-step lesson plans, and hundreds of author quotes to motivate student learning. The ideas and lessons in this book are not a quick and easy journey, but becoming a better writer—an author—never is.

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Author Bio

Since 1985, Kelly Gallagher has devoted himself to the teaching of reading, writing, listening and speaking—first and foremost, as a high school ELA teacher in Anaheim, California, and also as a author/consultant who works with educators around the world. Today, he is considered one of the leading voices in literacy education.

Always in search of a better way, Kelly honed his craft by taking on leadership positions in several key literacy programs, including the California Reading and Literature Project, the South Basin Writing Project at California State University, Long Beach, and the Puente Project, a University of California outreach program that prepares under-represented high school students for transition into universities. For several years, he taught secondary literacy courses as an adjunct professor at California State University, Fullerton, and, most recently, he served as the president of the Secondary Reading Group of the International Literacy Association (ILA).

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