Lisa Stringfellow, Lower School English faculty, participated in the 2021 Middle Ground Book Fest earlier this August. It is her second appearance at the festival.
Along with five other classroom educators, learning specialists, and librarians, Lisa participated in a panel entitled “Teachers Who Write” with Erin Dionne, Chris Baron, Sarah Marie Jette, Stacy Nockowitz, and Tina Athaide. All the panelists work with students in kindergarten through the college level, and also share the experience of writing middle grade books.
The panelists discussed questions such as, “How does having a background and experience in education help or hinder your writing life?” and “How has writing changed your teaching practice?” For that last question specifically, Ms. Stringfellow shared “I feel being a writer has greatly improved my teaching. Because I have a clearer view of how stories actually make it onto shelves, I can share that information with students and try to bring real-world connections to their writing experiences in class.”
Ms. Stringfellow has woven her experience writing middle grade books into her Winsor lesson plans. In Class II, students write a reflection framed as a letter to their editor after finishing their own short story myth. Ms. Stringfellow explains that professional writers have editors who help craft their stories, and who provide editorial feedback. She asks students to imagine that they have just submitted their myth for publication in an anthology of myths and legends, and the editor wants to know more about their writing process, such as the choices they made while writing, the characterization methods they used, and how they chose to craft the lead and the ending.
“I look forward to more opportunities to participate in panels about reading, writing, and storytelling this school year,” she shared. With a debut middle grade book coming out next year, we think she’ll get her wish. Look for A Comb of Wishes
to hit shelves February 2022.
You can watch the "Teachers Who Write" panel here
and listen to more panel discussions from the Middle Ground Book Fest here