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Write –> Publish –> Touch Other People’s Lives

Annie Campbell, some of whom you know from the “Write Now In Room 204” Blog is a master third grade teacher.  I met Annie at the TCRWP Summer Writing Institute in 2008.  We were both taking Carl Anderson’s upper grade revision session.  I haven’t seen Annie in person since July 2008, but I’ve been in touch with her a lot during the past few years.  Last Sunday, I received an e-mail from Annie stating that the Richmond Times Dispatch published her an op-ed (she wrote) entitled, “Dick and Jane Have Their Day.”  It’s a touching story that starts out with Annie learning how to read on a Trans-Atlantic Journey with her father as her teacher.  Later in the op-ed Annie talks about the way that engagement with texts fuels readers.  She also brings up a recent NY Times piece by Thomas Friedman about what research has to say about family engagement and children’s educational outcomes.

I asked Annie about her writing and the thing she said that touched me was:

The best part of this has been letters from strangers who share their stories with me.

It’s not having friends and colleagues come up to her and say, “Hey, I saw your writing in the paper.”  Rather, it’s receiving feedback from people whose writing has touched her in a personal way that motivates her the most.  Just as comments on posts motivate bloggers, letters from people who personally connect with our writing motivate us to share our writing again and again. (NOTE: This is the second op-ed Annie has had published in the Richmond Times Dispatch. )

Last month, my presentation at NCTE was entitled “Building Promise: Investigating Our World as Adult Writers.”  The essence of the presentation was about making time and space to write as an adult.  I’m including an excerpt from my NCTE presentation below.  I hope the fifth slide that’s included below will inspire you to think about ways to get your writing out there in ways that will effect other people’s lives in meaningful ways, just as Annie’s op-eds have done for me and for many other people who’ve read them.

Have you published any writing (e.g., in a house of worship newsletter, township publication, professional journal, etc.) that you’d like to share with us?  Please leave a comment and tell us a bit about your journey as a writer.  How did you decide to step out of your comfort zone to go public with your writing?




Stacey Shubitz View All

Literacy Consultant. Author. Former 4th and 5th Grade Classroom Teacher.

3 thoughts on “Write –> Publish –> Touch Other People’s Lives Leave a comment

  1. I love this post, to be a writing mentor to our kids, we absolutely need to write, re-write, revise, re-think, and (if we are so lucky) publish. My blog allows me to practice writing – often what begins as a post about my teaching life becomes fodder for my writer’s notebook. And I guess I stepped out of my comfort zone by pressing that “post” key – that’s my private (but public) writing celebration – minus the treats my kids get to have when we have our writing celebrations!


  2. There are several of my colleagues that I am urging to write about their experiences to tell the world how fabulous is the job they are doing. Time is a huge factor, although there are now several teachers who are writing with their students, a big step! Thanks for the ideas, Stacey. I have had one article accepted for the online site, Teaching Tolerance, although it has not been published yet. I keep looking for places, but still find time is a challenge. Annie’s article is terrific!


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