About this blog

This blog started out being all about writing – for students who love writing, and for teachers who want to start a class with 10 or 15 minutes of writing but don’t want to think about different ways of doing this.

I soon realised that writing prompts were also thinking and discussion prompts. That’s why I decided to add discussion prompts which will hopefully provoke thinking and the lively discussion of ideas and viewpoints, and lead to writing.

How teachers decide to use these prompts is limited only to their own imagination.

When students are thinking, discussing and writing regularly they are developing important literacies across the curriculum. The social aspect of this kind of learning is crucial, and I envisage the prompts in this blog to encourage this so that students are not writing for teachers alone, so that they share ideas, receive feedback and develop their thinking and understanding.

How do we develop students’ writing skills? By providing regular, varied, stimulating and collaborative opportunities for writing – and its precursor, thinking and discussing.

Express Media approached the winner of the 2009 John Marsden prize for Young Australian Writers, Amelia Schmidt, and asked for her advice to young writers entering this year’s competition. Amelia’s short story ‘House Sitting for my Mother’ won the John Marsden Prize for Young Australian Writers in the 18-24 short story/first chapter of a novel category.

Do you have any advice for young writers entering the 2010 John Marsden Prize for Young Australian Writers?

Just write. There needs to be more writing, and you need to get better at it, so the only solution is to write. And read – read all the time. Be inspired. Everything matters, everything is relevant – don’t get too focused on one thing, and learn to accept yourself as a writer into your own work.

By writing this blog I hope to make a small contribution to teachers and students by providing many, varied writing and discussion prompts which are easy to use, and can be modified to suit all age groups, levels and time spans.


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