Toward Better Writing Conferences & More Independent Writers

Conferring with writers has always been the hardest part of workshop teaching for me. When it goes well, a writing conference is where the energy is, where the lightbulb turns on, where the writing and the writer move forward. But it takes a lot of work to train writers to have a meaningful, energizing writing […]

The Only Four Questions You’ll Ever Need to Ask Your Writers

Carl Anderson taught me to begin every writing conference with the simple question, “How’s it going?” I love this question for two reasons: it’s a question we ask our colleagues, our friends, and our family members when we want to know how they are doing. In other words, it’s an authentic question that shows we care. […]

Writing Conference Road-Show (or Small Conferences with Big Payouts)

Writing conferences used to scare me. Big time. In fact, for me, it was the most-dreaded element of reading and writing workshop. How would I even start? What would I say if the student had a question I couldn’t easily answer? Would the other students really be working while I moved around the room discussing […]