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Over a woe-is-me, three-martini lunch twenty years ago, a pal and fellow disgruntled stockbroker told me a tale that became the basis for my debut novel, Big Numbers. A half-eaten olive spat from my mouth even before I heard the punchline. "Say that again?"  Continue reading...
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Blog Excerpts

The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

Its final edition published in 1911, the "Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia" filled 12 volumes with over half a million entries, the largest dictionary of its kind. (See the Wikipedia description here) This singular work of scholarship was never again revised or expanded -- but it's now available on the web. Click here to check it out. (For a little fun, look up the definition for "ship" -- complete with 251-point illustration of a merchant sailing ship)
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The Paideia School in Atlanta, Georgia, runs an innovative program to help their middle school students become better writers, with an added bonus: it also helps them become better people. How? By focusing their writing on personal essays. One of the teachers who helps shape this course is Andrea Sarvady, a talented educator with a unique background -- she's also an accomplished author and trained therapist. We spoke to Andrea about the program:  Continue reading...
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Blog Du Jour

Teachers Talk...

The teachers who write the following blogs share their hard-earned wisdom and invite fellow educators weigh in with their own thoughts. Go ahead, join their conversation:

The Reflective Teacher

Educating the Dragon

From the Trenches of Public Ed.


A Shrewdness of Apes

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I recently spent an entire Saturday listening to a bunch of 16-year-olds argue with each other. And then I graded their efforts to help determine a winner. Sounds odd, I know. But that's the world of competitive debating. And what works for these high schoolers on the podium, can work for your writing, too.

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Dog Eared

Books we love

Writing for the Stage

Drama, comedy or something in between? If you want to get your act(s) together, check out these books on playwriting:

I Ain't Sorry for Nothin' I Done: August Wilson's Process of Playwriting by Joan Herrington

Playwriting: From Formula to Form by William M. Downs

Naked Playwriting: The Art, The Craft, And The Life Laid Bare by William Missouri Downs and Robin U. Russin

The Elements of Playwriting by Louis E. Catron

Playwriting In Process: Thinking and Working Theatrically by Michael Wright

Playwriting: The Structure of Action, Revised and Expanded Edition by Sam Smiley and Norman Bert

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I daydream a lot. If my mother had been the sort of mother who kept boxes of elementary school mementos, I could prove it with the comments sections of my report cards. "Kristi (I changed the "i" to a "y" sometime during adolescence, forever confounding my grandparents) is very bright, but tends to daydream too much," or "Kristi could be an "A" student if she stopped daydreaming." So my mother wasn't the sort of mother who kept every scrap of my childhood perfectly preserved, but luckily for me she was the sort of mother who didn't get all worked up about curtailing daydreams.  Continue reading...
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1 2 3 4 5 Displaying 1-7 of 29 Articles