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Good News for Late Starters #slice2013

9780325046662Did you find out about the Slice of Life Story Challenge late?  Do you want to start today?  (You can and you should!)  Are you thinking, “Why should I start now if I can’t be in the running for a prize?”  Well, put that thought aside because you CAN be in the running for a prize even if you didn’t start writing and linking your slice of life stories yesterday.

If you start the adult challenge no later than Monday, March 4th and properly link your slice of life stories to the daily call for slice of life stories through March 31st, then you will be eligible to win a prize.  

Heinemann is sponsoring the prizes for two of daily writers who start today, tomorrow, or Monday.  Two Slicers, whose names will be chosen at random at the end of the Challenge, will win a copy of Ralph Fletcher‘s What a Writer Needs, Second Edition, which was just released last month.

Speaking of Ralph’s book, I told him it would be featured as a special prize for our readers who start the SOSLC a day or two late.  He offered to write a guest blog post, which includes more information about What a Writer Needs, Second Edition.  After you read his guest blog post, I’d love to know what you think of the idea of being a writer vs. a Writer now that our Challenge is underway.

Readers who frequent this blog are seeking high-quality ideas, strategies, and techniques to teach writing. When we talk about the writing process, it’s important to remember that writing teachers are also works-in-progress, caught between where we started and where we want to be. In that context I’d like to mention my book What A Writer Needs, 2nd edition, just published by Heinemann.

It’s no secret that in the last few years the teaching writing world has become more test-oriented (and Common Core-centric). But there are horizons beyond that—there have to be! Bottom line: if you’re going to teach any subject well you must have a deep and profound knowledge of that subject. What A Writer Needs is a great one for building the teacher’s basic knowledge of writing. Many teachers have admitted to me that their knowledge of writing is thin. What A Writer Needs will deepen your knowledge; it’s like a crash course in writing.

Donald Graves asserted that good teaching in the Language Arts starts with a teacher’s own literacy. He fervently believed that L.A. teachers must be readers and writers. I agree. And while most teachers consider themselves readers, most do not define themselves writers. But a book like What A Writer Needs can change that and coax forth the writer inside you. It may seem intimidating to think of yourself as a “Writer,” but I say that each one of us can be a writer (small w)—someone who puts words onto the page for a variety of purposes. Students will notice. They’ll appreciate the fact that you’re taking the same risk they are taking.

So, please, join us for the 6th Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge!  (And remember, the greatest prize is being part of a community of writers.)

If you have any questions about starting the SOLSC now, then please leave a comment on this post.  Either I or Christy Rush-Levine, our Giveaway Guru, will get back to you by responding to your comment below. 

PLEASE NOTE: You should not leave the unique URL to your slice of life story on this post.  Please visit Ruth’s daily call for the adult Slice of Life Story Challenge for that purpose.

Stacey Shubitz View All

I am a literacy consultant who has spent the past dozen years working with teachers to improve the teaching of writing in their classrooms. While I work with teachers and students in grades K-6, I'm a former fourth and fifth-grade teacher so I have a passion for working with upper elementary students.

I'm the author of Craft Moves (Stenhouse Publishers, 2016) and the co-author of Jump Into Writing (Zaner-Bloser, 2021), Welcome to Writing Workshop (Stenhouse Publishers, 2019), and Day By Day (Stenhouse, 2010).

13 thoughts on “Good News for Late Starters #slice2013 Leave a comment

  1. I will be leaving on the 23rd (March 23-30) for a trip to Cambodia for Spring Break. I’m not sure what my internet connection will be. Can I post my slices for the week when I find a reliable connection back home or is that cheating? Thanks!


    • Hi Jackie!

      We ask that everyone only posts one link per day, As a result, we only count one link per day for prize purposes.

      If you have someone you trust, they can log in as you and post your slices daily while you’re away (in case you don’t have a reliable internet connection during your travels).

      Have fun in Cambodia!

      My best,


  2. I got the email from Steinhouse late on Saturday night so I am glad for the opportunity of the late start. I am excited to participate in this blog.


  3. I am so excited to know about Ralph Fletcher’s new book. I am actively invovled with the National Writing Project and our group recommends this book and often uses it as a mentor text for our participants.


  4. I have been convinced for a very long time, as a teacher and as a writer, with and without students, that writing every day builds stamina, experience so that one looks at books with different eyes, too, and the ability to move forward and improve. It builds layers and layers of experimenting from which one can draw for the next steps. Doing the slicing, & then continuing to blog is part of that growth. It’s been such a treasure of an invitation from Ruth and Stacey to do the weekly and in March, the daily posts. Community is the added sweet, sweet icing on the cake!


  5. Love to hear Ralph F. talk about the need to be a writer as well as a reader. I have been pushing that with the teachers in my building but we are not there yet. They now get they need to be readers to engage students in reading. I hope we can get the writing to go along with it.

    Yes I got started late but did two posted today – just for me! I am determined to write for 31 days again this year.


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