The Real Thing

I am off to Nashville, TN to a conference–the National Council of the Teachers of English. I’ll sign my latest book Adventurous Women: Eight True Stories About Women Who Made a Difference, have dinner with invited guests, a cocktail party, etc. On Monday I’m on a panel–“The Real Thing: Nonfiction in YA Literature.” My writing challenge was organizing everything I want to say in the 8 minutes allocated to each panelist–three men and me. Around and around I went, discarding one structure after another, deleting section after section until I figured out that I could organize my brief remarks around the 4 perspectives with which I approach nonfiction literature–as an advocate, teacher educator, writer, picture researcher. That worked and I’ve timed my comments–7 1/2 minutes!! I love writing speeches–I think teachers should introduce youngsters to speeches as a genre–very interesting to think about writing something that people will hear, instead of read, i.e. things that are unnecessary for readers help listeners. Anyhow, time to go to the airport.

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