The Author's Apprentice

Developing Writing Fluency, Stamina, and Motivation Through Authentic Publication

“What are we teaching our students about writing, if it isn’t what actual writers do?” This provocative question begins the journey Vicki Meigs-Kahlenberg takes us on in The Author’s Apprentice.

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With the popular NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)—an event each November during which participants attempt to write a novel from start to finish—as her inspiration, she reinvents the writer’s workshop using an authentic and engaging “apprenticeship” approach that is based on the writing advice of middle grades and young adult authors students are currently reading.

The book integrates classroom practices from Kelly Gallagher, Ralph Fletcher, Lynne Dorfman, and Nancie Atwell with writing practices from authors such as Rick Riordan, Lois Lowry, Gordon Korman, and Margaret Peterson Haddix. Using the experiences of these successful teachers and authors, Meigs-Kahlenberg creates a classroom where student authors contribute their words to the world and gain the self-confidence to become independent writers who apply their skills to any writing task.

In Vicki’s classroom what she does goes beyond November as she pushes kids past the limits of what they thought was possible. It stretches and accelerates their growth as writers by developing their writing fluency and stamina. It grounds their learning in the real world and gives their reading and writing purpose that matters far beyond a test or grade.

The Author’s Apprentice provides a yearlong planning guide, weekly writing challenges, ideas for publication possibilities, step-by-step lesson plans, and hundreds of author quotes to motivate student learning. The ideas and lessons in this book are not a quick and easy journey, but becoming a better writer—an author—never is.

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Not convinced your students can write novels? Not convinced the work outlined in this book is true to curriculum standards, Common Core or otherwise? Then you’ve got to read this book, try it out in your classroom, and see what happens. Meigs gives you the tools that the novelist and the writing teacher in me adores—it’s dripping with hard-won truths and the grit it takes to be a writer and reviser.
Jeff Anderson

About the Author(s)

Vicki Meigs-Kahlenberg is an experienced educational consultant who collaborates with both teachers and young writers. As a middle school teacher for nearly two decades, she has helped hundreds of students achieve their dream of becoming published authors. She enjoys speaking at conferences and providing workshops for teachers, writing groups, and classrooms.


Table of Contents

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  • Foreword by Jeff Anderson
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: Why Write?
  • Part 1: The Writing Apprenticeship Model
  • Part 2: Basecamp: What Do Authors Do?
  • Part 3: Authors' Territory: How Do They Do It?
  • Part 4: Becoming Word Travelers: How Can I Become a Published Author Too?
  • Appendixes A-N
  • Bibliography
  • Index



Product Details

Grades: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Media: 242 pp/paper
Year: 2016
Item No: 0941
ISBN: 978-1-57110-941-5
Hashtag: #AuthorsApprentice