Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Reading Rockets And More Tips From Chautauqua

Reading Rockets is a national multimedia project offering information and resources on how young kids learn to read, why so many struggle, and how caring adults can help.

This is great site for parents and teachers. Visit the site at

The focus of this month is on Raising a Writer. Take a look and enjoy.

More Tips On Writing From the Chautauqua Conference

A Writing Tip from Author and Editorial Consultant Andy Gutelle:

Content is king. For today's kids this includes everything from old standbys like dinosaurs and horses to new passions like cell phones and iPods. Since publishing companies are eager to produce what kids want, it is critical that you stay current on the subject of reader interests.

Because they must attract and hold an audience every month, editors of children's magazines are on the front line when it comes to interpreting the likes and dislikes of kids. Be sure to check several different magazines regularly. Even general interest publications have a particular point of view, and you want to consider kids from different perspectives. Whichever ones you choose, pay close attention to letters to the editor, advice columns, and other departments where readers can openly express their thoughts in their own words.

Andrew Gutelle is a writer, editor, and editorial consultant who has participated in the development of many publishing projects for children. He has written nonfiction books for many publishers, including Random House, Putnam, Workman, and Time-Life Books for Children. Andy received five Emmy nominations for his work on the television show Reading Rainbow.

A Writing Tip from Journalism Professor Peter Jacobi

The necessity of voice—with writing we cannot ever become someone else. Yes, we can learn much from other good writers and, I guess, from bad writers, too. We can emulate the good ones, but ultimately if we are to succeed, we must discover and disclose our own voice, our own sense of style, our own particular embrace of language and information.

Consider by way of explanation, by way of definition, these words: authentic, nonformulaic, rhythmic, properly detailed, nuanced, musical, magical, bone-and-sinew touching. Consider the show-verses-tell concept. Consider noun-and verb-centered writing. Consider experiential closeness. Consider the startling, the inescapable, the visual, the conversational, the different with a purpose. Consider the vital and the energetic. Consider writing that pulses with a heartbeat of the writer—his soul, her personality—something that cannot be duplicated because it comes from within a someone.

Peter P. Jacobi is professor emeritus of journalism at Indiana University and a consultant with magazines and corporations, helping CEOs, writers, and editors learn to express their ideas more effectively. His articles have appeared in World Book, The New York Times, Highlights, and others. His two guidebooks, The Magazine Article: How to Think It, Plan It, Write It and Writing with Style: The News Story and the Feature, are standard reference sources for journalists.


These tips come from general sessions given at the Highlights Foundation Writers Workshop at Chautauqua. Find out more at

The Highlights Foundation
814 Court Street
Honesdale, PA 18431
Phone: (570) 253-1192

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