Writing Homework

Greetings from the back of beyond, dear readers.

I love Deborah Kaplan‘s recent post called “Writing Homework for You, My Loyal Readers.” Last fall, Deborah and Amy Stern co-taught the fantasy course at Simmons College’s Center for the Study of Children’s Literature. After they’d started the semester, they realized what the opening assignment should have been. Now that they’re no longer teaching the course, they’re sharing that assignment with us, and it’s a great one. It involves learning to better appreciate the differences between all the many ways we can write about books. From the post:

Current students are so incredibly proficient at writing about reading, because what with blogs etc., they do so much of it. And yet at the same time, they are proficient in some very specific kinds of writing about reading (primarily personal blogs and Goodreads-style reviews, with some amount of professional blogs), and the process of showing people the requirements of the different kinds of writing is different than it used to be. Without devaluing existing proficiencies, we hope to show that high quality reactive blog post, for example, is not the same thing as scholarly forum discussion.

The point here is that all the styles of writing are valuable, but they’re not the same as each other, and they require different focuses and styles. Deborah delineates nine different possible styles. Check it out if you’re interested!

This summer is wonderful and intense and I’m not online much. But I have great hopes of coming back a few times in the next couple weeks to recommend one BBC radio play, one audiobook, and one game.