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Weaving worlds with words and wonder…

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Recent News

A whirlwind visit from Author of The Little Library Cook Book, chef, MSM Alumni and inspiration. Kate will be joining us on February 23rd at 3.30 where she will talk to young writers about her writing journey.

Hopefully we will help other schools both state and independent, to establish their own Writers Clubs or groups, accessing Write The World to reach a global community.

Mrs Bentley and the MSM Writers were awarded the E20 People's Choice Award for Best of 2016 Best Practice in Teaching and Learning Projects

AN INTRODUCTION TO MSM WRITERS

The Mt St Michael's College Writers' Club has been under my care for eight years and has grown from five students meeting for half an hour on a Friday afternoon on the first week, to twenty eight on the second week meeting for an hour. By the third week I had twenty nine members and we were meeting for two hours. Today I have sixty eight members on my roll with an average of forty nine attending each week.

Hear Grace in the short clip below discussing how Writers' Club and Write The World opened her world and is feeding her dreams.

WRITE THE WORLD

The girls had exposure to digital stimulus and guest speakers, forays into the GOMA and QLD Museum and an annual themed immersive writing camp for many years that met many of our needs. We had used All Poetry and All Story, online communities but they were fraught with privacy and access issues and were quickly abandoned. In 2014 I was approached to pilot an online writing community tailored specifically for adolescent writers which came out of Nancy Sommers work at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Nancy realised that the success of her writing class lay in the nature of the social interaction and peer reviewing which provided writers with authentic audiences. Write The World took this idea and embellished it by opening the world to young writers, giving them a much broader and more rigorous readership of like-minded people. Young people are now participants in the creation of texts that reveal their worlds as they see them, and exposure to such a diverse body of work helps to develop them as global citizens, opening their eyes to quite different perspectives about the world they inhabit. Write The World is currently in ninety-one countries.

Writers' Club is structured but informal

Members can choose to write manually or digitally and do so for forty minutes

Most type up their words and transfer them to Write the World. Our group interact and give verbal critique which informs their work which is then further edited and submitted to our online group. Girls may choose to also share the work in the global arena which gives them a richly diverse audience.

The Benefits of Write The World to My Writers

Writers' Club and Write The World has afforded my writers opportunities to build social-capital, self-efficacy, self-esteem and an authorial voice. The platform is easy to use and allows the teacher or mentor to communicate directly with members. You are able to manage the students and can give them permissions to review other people's work. This means that if anyone chooses to misuse the platform, not only can you revoke their right to review, you can also remove them from the group. Having said that, I haven't needed to use this measure. Students respect the space and value its richness. However, while teachers can set their group to private and have control over the members in this forum, the students can also publish on the public site freely and it is this global group which has been most beneficial to my writers at Mt St Michael's College.

As the group manager, you can make announcements, add writing prompts and access the work of each of your members easily. The students love the reward badges which acknowledge their involvement in submitting work and reviewing. Grace Cassidy has been profiled on the site and is a Peer Review Ambassador.

An example of one of Grace's reviews can be seen below. Reviewers can highlight and embed comments that may help with the editing process and then complete a review of the entire piece.

The intrinsic value contained in the recognition and appreciation of the contributions the writers make is immeasurable. The access to authors, playwrights, educators and editors who lend authority to the reviewing process makes the authenticity of the exchange even more rich. Writers build networks of invested peers and professional contacts and learn to stand behind their words. The profiles of guest editors and writers are available on the website but there is an example below to give you an indication.

Grace was thrilled to be featured. You can see the profile by clicking the button below.

Genevieve Ryan, Grade 9 had this to say about MSM Writers and Write The World.

The Write The World blog allows writers from different parts of the world to explore what writing means to them It allows students to think critically about their work and reflect on not only the words they produce but the writing process they engage with. Click on the button below to read an interview of one of my writers conducted by Logan Warsaw of Boston, USA.

The site is very student facing (as is immediately seen in the design— which was developed in consultation with high school students) yet there is an embedded/'hidden' pedagogy to every element of the site. Students are guided through the competition by the various elements/resources supplied that support them in their learning and writing. For instance, in every competition, young writers have the opportunity to:

1. Submit a draft a week early (before the due date) to get that draft reviewed (at no charge) by an Expert Reviewer (a teacher or writer)

2. Publish their draft on the site to get feedback from their peers all over the world.

3. Receive support and resources to assist them in their writing through the curriculum provided on the site.. for instance here is the supporting material for the recent 'historical fiction' competition.

Guidelines are provided and quite specific.

4. Writers have their work read by a published author/expert relevant to that genre. (For Historical Fiction, the judge was Australian YA historical fiction author, Gabrielle Wang)

5. The winners and runners up, in addition to prize money, also receive commentary on their work from the guest judge.

ADDING AUDIBLE LINKS TO WORK IN WRITE THE WORLD USING ADOBE SPARK VIDEO

One of the most exciting things about being part of this online community for me, is the organisation's willingness to consider new ways of using the site. I recently tried adding a voice recording to my published work on Write The World to see how that might enhance the experience for writers. The Adobe Spark Video application which is free for both Windows and iPad from their respective App Stores, is incredibly easy to use. One of the most astounding outcomes of the MSM Writers' Club is the way that the writers find their own voices in delivery. They learn to not only appreciate the way the words come alive in delivery but they incidentally develop confidence and skill in performance, capturing the cadences they intended in their work. Write The World could see the value in adding this dimension to their members experience and we should see more voice files uploaded in the future.

The Inaugural Write The World Annual has gone to print and will be Launched in Australia in Brisbane at Avid Reader West End.

Enjoy this brief preview featuring the work of my writers as well as international writers.

Download the free Aurasma App and follow WriteTheWorldJuliette to hear the MSM writers read their work.

Follow us on Twitter

@BentleyJuliette

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@Write_the_World

An interesting article on the use of digital technologies in education.

An article in The Australian Teacher November 2016

A final look at students sharing their thoughts about the benefits of their membership of Writers' Club at MSM

Created By
Juliette Bentley
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Photos from own archives, BTN and ABC News Website

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