Tag Archives: writing

What’s Your Summer Story?

7 Jun

summer story


We all know that Portland is a city of readers, right? Well, we’ve also got a number of famous writers that make or have made the City of Roses their home.  There’s even a former Lincoln Cardinal on that list!

Want to add your own name to that list? Consider taking one of the many writing programs/workshops that are offered in the summer.

* Lewis & Clark offers the “The Fir Acres Workshop in Writing and Thinking”  from June 30-July 12. “Since the summer of 1989, Fir Acres has been a place where, as E.B. White puts it, the ‘self escapes into the open,’ where all of us follow our written language in order to hear our voices anew.”

* The Attic Institute offers a summer writing camp where “students…will meet eight times to work on personal narrative, fantasy, fiction, essays, poetry, and any other type of writing they wish. Writers will be heavily engaged in peer critiques, feedback, and revision.”  “Writing from the Wilds will give young writers an opportunity to renew their creative energy during mid-summer as they explore craft, narrative voice, story structure…This three-day writing camp takes place in the beautiful Opal Creek Wilderness, and is in collaboration with the Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center.” Check out both programs here.

* PCC offers a summer teen program – check out their schedule of writing classes.

* “show:tell, the Workshop for Teen Writers and Artists, is a nine-day seminar in which high school students (ages 14 to 18) receive college-level instruction in creative writing and contemporary arts.”

Do you know of any other teen writing programs happening this summer? If so, let me know in the comments and I’ll add it to the list.

Some New Goodies

8 Jan

new stuff

I’ve been working, when time permits, on creating a library of printables for the Writing Center. And now, I’ve finally figured out an easy way to share them electronically – yay! You can find them by clicking Printables (upper right beneath the title of the blog) or by scrolling down (right hand column, directly underneath Recent Posts). You can also find hard copies at the Writing Center (white binder behind our table).

So far, there are only a handful but I aim to have many, many more by the end of the year. If you need help with breaking down your assignment, writing an abstract, crafting a hook, or creating transition, then check out one of the Writing Center printables.

Is there an issue you’d like us to address? Leave a comment & I’ll create an info sheet ASAP.

Call for Submissions: Honoring Our Rivers – Jan 31 Deadline

4 Jan


Are you looking for a dynamic opportunity to have student writing and artwork published and presented before a statewide audience? Does your passion for Oregon rivers, watersheds and sustainability stir your creative interests?

Look no further than Honoring Our Rivers, Oregon’s only statewide student anthology focused on rivers and watersheds. All students are recognized for their participation, and students selected for publication (through a juried-review process) receive the honor of their work appearing in print before a
statewide audience and opportunities to present at events throughout the state. In the anthology itself, student writing appears alongside some of Oregon’s best-known authors.
Who can submit? Any student, age kindergarten through college, is eligible to submit their work.

Guidelines in Brief
• One entry per student.
• Written work should be typed or printed clearly (no more than 500 words per entry)
• Digital entries are encouraged (acceptable formats: pdf, Word).
• Artwork & Photography: Original, black & white only. Digital submissions preferred: jpeg, tiff, png

All submission forms must include a signature and parents must sign for students under 18. Submissions are not returned and Honoring Our Rivers reserves rights and permissions for printing and reproductions.

Past invited and published Oregon writers (sample list): Barry Lopez, Ursula K. Le Guin, Brian Doyle, Paulann Petersen, Ellen Waterson, Charles Goodrich, Robin Cody, Jane Glazer, John Daniel 

Visit http://www.honoringourrivers.org for complete submission guides, teaching aids and more project details.

Submissions should be sent to Willamette Partnership/Honoring Our Rivers, 2550 SW Hillsboro Hwy, Hillsboro, OR 97123.

Call for Submissions: Honoring Our Rivers

6 Nov

Honoring Our Rivers accepting entries for 2013 edition

All students, K-College are eligible to submit.  We welcome written works (no more than 500 words per entry please) that are typed or clearly printed, and original art and photography. Digital entries are encouraged. Please see our submissions page for detailed instructions. Artwork and photographs MUST be black and white. (Most color entries are very difficult to translate to a black & white publication). One entry per student. A written entry may be accompanied by original artwork.

Please post and spread the word to your networks! Call for Submissions

An Essay Writing Tool

1 Nov

I’ve been posting a lot lately about the various elements of an essay starting at the pre-writing stage to writing and revising the rough draft. I’m also in the middle of breaking down the two hardest paragraphs of an essay – the introduction and the conclusion. For the introduction, you’ve got the hook and the map. The conclusion posts will come next week.

In my research for the above posts, I came across a handy-dandy online tool – the Essay Map. It’s a plug-and-play model and not one that you’ll want to count as spitting out a final draft but in terms of organizing your ideas and argument, it looks pretty good.

Has anyone used this tool before? Or do you have a recommendation for something better? Let us know in the comments.

ORCA: Revising the Rough Draft

23 Oct

You’ve got the words on the page and are now ready to fine-tune your way to a final draft. To keep it simple and easy to remember, I separated the steps and created a mnemonic device – ORCA.


Gather up your paragraphs (how-to provided in this post) and don’t worry yet if you’re not sure which order they’ll appear in the essay; you’ll figure out the overall organization later.

Underline or highlight the topic sentence of each paragraph. If you don’t have one, write it now.

Think of your topic sentence as a puzzle in that there are going to be at least 2-3 pieces that comprise the sentence. Highlight (different colors) or circle the pieces of your topic sentence puzzle.

Read over the remaining sentences and decide which puzzle piece they belong to – start copying and pasting these pieces into a logical order.

Do this for each paragraph and at the end you should have coherent and unified body paragraphs that all relate to their respective topic sentences.


Read each sentence aloud and take a pause after each one to ask yourself a couple of questions: (1) does it make sense? (2) does it bolster the claim made in the topic sentence? and (3) does it fit with the sentence before AND after it?

Here’s the time to organize your paragraphs into the order in which they’ll appear in your essay. By now it should be obvious but if you’re still not sure, try different configurations until you find one that makes sense.

This is also the time to make sure each paragraph has a transitional sentence. I covered this topic in a previous post.


Now it’s time to look at the bigger picture rather than the minutiae covered in the first two steps. Read over your essay & ask yourself these questions: (1) does each paragraph help to prove your thesis? (2) does each paragraph help bolster the one before AND after it? (3) are your ideas clear?

By this point, you’re likely sick of reading the same words over and over so get someone else to read it. It’s so easy to gloss over mistakes and confusing bits when the words are your own and you’ve read it so many times.

(Writing Center plug: We’re here Mon-Fri 2:30-4:30pm. You can sign up in the Library – main counter – or email me a day/time at lincolnwriting@gmail.com)


This is the time for all the nit-picky things. I’d recommend the first thing you do is read the assignment again & make sure that EVERY requirement is satisfied within your paper. This way you can write and/or delete if needed.

Read your paper (again!) but this time look for errors in grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc.


Yay, you made it! I know that the above may seem a little daunting but if you have the luxury of time then just split the steps up into several days. If you’re pressed for time, the above will save you hours of agonizing, I promise.

Next posts will be about the (dreaded though necessary) introduction and conclusion.


22 Oct

What is NaNoWriMo?

National Novel Writing Month happens every November! It’s a fun, seat-of-your-pants writing event where the challenge is to complete an entire novel in just 30 days. For one month, you get to lock away your inner editor, let your imagination take over, and just create!

That means participants begin writing November 1 and must finish by midnight, November 30. The word-count goal for our adult program is 50,000 words, but the Young Writers Program (YWP) allows 17-and-under participants to set reasonable, yet challenging, individual word-count goals.

In 2011, 250,000 adults participated through our main site, and 50,000 young writers participated through the YWP.

Sign Up!


Step-by-Step Guide:

How Does NaNoWriMo Work for Young Writers?

Reblogged from http://ywp.nanowrimo.org/what-is-nanowrimo

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