Begins: May 1, 2020
Ends: December 31, 2021
The Write Time
NWP Radio, in partnership with the Connecticut Writing Project at Fairfield and Penguin Random House Books, has launched a special series called “The Write Time” where writing teachers from across the NWP Network interview young-adult and children’s authors about their books, their composing processes, and writers’ craft.
Here’s a list of our featured guests. Click a name to jump to their video.
Author Gene Luen Yang along with Educators Abu Bility and William King
We were so fortunate to have the one and only Gene Luen Yang with us to discuss his new graphic novel, Dragon Hoops. He was joined by Bryan Ripley Crandall, CWP-Fairfield, Mark Crandall, Founder of Hoops4Hope, and teachers Abu Bility and William King.
Author Nic Stone and Educator Kim Herzog
For this episode, our guests include Nic Stone, an Atlanta native and Spelman College graduate, and Connecticut educator Kim Herzog, a member of CWP-Fairfield. Nic Stone’s debut novel for young adults, Dear Martin, and her debut middle-grade novel, Clean Getaway, were both New York Times bestsellers. In this episode, Nic Stone and Kim Herzog are joined by Kristin Shultz, Penguin Random House, and hosts Tanya Baker from the National Writing Project and Bryan Ripley Crandall from CWP-Fairfield.
Author Matt de la Peña and Educator Dr. Tracey Flores
Matt de la Peña is a #1 New York Times bestselling and Newbery Medal-winning author. He has penned six critically acclaimed YA novels, including Mexican WhiteBoy and The Living, which was a Pura Belpré Author Honor Book. Matt’s picture book Love was a #1 New York Times bestseller, and Last Stop on Market Street was awarded a Newbery Medal. Matt lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Dr. Tracey T. Flores is an assistant professor of Language and Literacy at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Flores is a former classroom teacher, working for eight years alongside culturally and linguistically diverse students, families, and communities in K-8 schools throughout Glendale and Phoenix, Arizona. Her research focuses on Latina mothers’ and daughters’ language and literacy practices, the teaching of young writers in culturally and linguistically diverse classrooms, and family and community literacies.
Author Erika Sánchez and Educator Janelle Q. Bence
National Writing Project teacher-leader Janelle Q. Bence interviews New York Times Best-selling author Erika Sánchez in our special NWP Radio series, The Write Time. Sánchez is the author of I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter and a recent recipient of the 21st Century Award from the Chicago Public Library Foundation and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry.
Author Jeff Zentner and Educator Susan James
In this episode of The Write Time we visit with Jeff Zentner, author of The Serpent King, Goodbye Days, and Rayne and Delilah’s Midnite Matinee. Jeff is the recipient of the William C. Morris Award and his work has been selected as an ALA-YALSA Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults.
Jeff is interviewed by Dr. Susan Densmore-James, an assoiciate professor at the University of West Florida, the director of the Emerald Coast Writing Project at UWF, and is known as The Book Dealer for her work with literacy and Young Adult Literature.
Co-Founder of Project LIT Jarred Amato and Educator Sean Astle
In this episode of The Write Time, Jarred Amato the co-founder of Project LIT is interviewed by Connecticut English teacher Sean Astle. Jarred himself is a high school English teacher in Nashville, TN and Sean Astle is an English teacher in Connecticut where he is studying how young adult literature can be used to improve the literacy practices of all readers and writers.
Authors Marie Lu and Rose Brock with Educator Amanda Haugen
Marie Lu is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Young Elites series as well as the blockbuster Legend series. She has also been an artist in the video game industry, but is now a full-time author living in Los Angeles.
Rose Brock is an assistant professor at Sam Houston State University and a co-founder of the national literacy initiative, Guys Listen. She is also the editor of Hope Nation: Young Adult Authors Share Personal Moments of Inspiration and the author of Young Adult Literature in Action: A Librarian’s Guide.
Amanda Haugen is a high school ELA teacher in Pensacola, Florida and a teacher-consultant with the Emerald Coast Writing Project.
Author Laurie Halse Anderson and Educator Rebecca Marsick
In this episode of The Write Time we are honored to have Laurie Halse Anderson join us to discuss writing, learning, and life. She is the author of Speak, Prom, Twisted, Catalyst, Wintergirls, The Impossible Knife of Memory, and more.
Laurie is interviewed by NWP teacher-leader Rebecca Marsick who has taught elementary, middle, and high school, and is currently a Secondary Literacy Coach for Westport Public Schools.
Author Torrey Maldonado and Educator Rosanne Orta
Torrey Maldonado is the author of the critically acclaimed books What Lane?, Tight, and Secret Saturdays. He was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY where he still lives and teaches today.
Rosanne Orta lives in Arizona and has taught high school English for 12 years and is an NWP teacher-leader.
Author Adib Khorram and Educator Aram Kabodian
For this episode of The Write Time, we have the pleasure of visiting with award-winning author Adib Khorram. Adib is the author of Darius The Great is Not Okay and his next book, Darius The Great Deserves Better, will be released August 25, 2020.
Leading the discussion will be Aram Kabodian, a longtime educator, the 2016 MCTE Middle School Teacher of the Year, and a Red Cedar Writing Project teacher-leader.
Author Erin Stewart and Educator Esther Theodore
For this episode of The Write Time, we visit with author Erin Stewart. Erin uses her background in journalism to research and write fiction based on real life and her debut novel is Scars Like Wings.
Leading the conversation is Esther Theodore, an English Language Teacher at Stamford High in Connecticut and a teacher-leader with CWP-Fairfield. Esther is originally from Haiti and believes that every individual carries with them a story that enriches the educational journey, stretching it beyond the classroom.
Author Candice Iloh and Educator Sharonica Nelson
As part of a special back-to-school series of The Write Time, we visited with three debut Penguin Random House authors. For the first episode we visited with author Candice Iloh and educator Sharonica Nelson led the discussion.
Candice Iloh is a first generation Nigerian-American author and dancer based in Philadelphia, PA. Iloh has performed poetry and spoken word around the country and has served as a program director and workshop facilitator with Voices UnBroken, and as a teaching artist with Split This Rock, poetryN.O.W., and The American Poetry Museum. Throughout her work, Iloh has remained engaged with the communities she works and lives in by mentoring young people creatively within public school classrooms, athletic programs, and writing workshops.
Author Ger Duany and Educator William King
As part of a special back-to-school series of The Write Time, we visited with three debut Penguin Random House authors. For our second episode we visit with author Ger Duany and educator William King leads the discussion.
Ger Duany is a survivor of the tragic exodus of an estimated 20,000 Sudanese children, the “Lost boys of Sudan,” and has been appointed as UN Goodwill Ambassador. Born in the town of Akobo, Ger was caught up in Sudan’s north-south civil war and was forcefully recruited as a child soldier. At the age of 14, he managed to escape to neighbouring Ethiopia and was eventually resettled to the United States from the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. In 2014, UNHCR helped Ger reunite with his mother and other family members in Kenya’s Kakuma refugee camp. He is also a model and actor.
Author Kim Johnson and Educator Synthia Shelby
As part of a special back-to-school series of The Write Time, we visited with three debut Penguin Random House authors. For our third and final episode of this mini-series, we visited with author Kim Johnson and educator Synthia Shelby leads the discussion.
Kim Johnson held leadership positions in social justice organizations as a teen. She’s now a college administrator who maintains civic engagement throughout the community while also mentoring Black student activists and leaders. This Is My America is her debut novel. It explores racial injustice against innocent Black men who are criminally sentenced and the families left behind to pick up the pieces. She holds degrees from the University of Oregon and the University of Maryland, College Park. Kim lives her best life in Oregon with her husband and two kids.
Author Jerry Craft and Student/Actor Dereje Tarrant
In this episode of The Write Time, we visit with author/illustrator Jerry Craft and eighth-grade student, Dereje Tarrant.
Dereje’s favorite subjects include creative writing, Latin, art, and biology. He is also a professional actor and enjoys playing soccer, doing hip-hop dance, practicing piano, spray-painting murals, or working at his latest craft—DJ-ing.
Jerry Craft is the New York Times bestselling and Newbery Medal winning author of the graphic novel, New Kid. His second graphic novel, Class Act, was published on October 6, 2020. Craft is also the creator of Mama’s Boyz, an award-winning comic strip which won the African American Literary Award five times. He is a cofounder of the Schomburg Center’s Annual Black Comic Book Festival. He received his BFA from the School of Visual Arts.
Authors Jacob Kramer and K-Fai Steele along with Educator Sheryl Block
Jacob Kramer grew up in Providence, RI and studied film-making and writing at Harvard. Like Noodlephant, he loves hunting for mushrooms, eating noodles, and organizing with friends in pursuit of justice.
K-Fai Steele is an author-illustrator who grew up in a house built in the 1700s with a printing press her father bought from a magician. She illustrated Okapi Tale and Noodlephant, and wrote and illustrated A Normal Pig.
Sheryl Block was a 4th grade and special education teacher, and currently serves as the Coordinator of Professional Learning with the Louisville Writing Project in Kentucky.
Author Candace Fleming and Educator Megan Rodney
Candace Fleming awarded herself the Newbery Medal in fifth grade after scraping the gold sticker off the class copy of The Witch of Blackbird Pond and pasting it onto her first novel—a ten-page, ten-chapter mystery called Who Done It? She’s been collecting awards (her own, not Elizabeth George Speare’s) ever since.
Today, Candace is the versatile and acclaimed author of more than forty books for children and young adults, including the Los Angeles Times Book Prize honored The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of the Russian Empire; Boston Globe/Horn Book Award-winning biography, The Lincolns; the bestselling picture book, Muncha! Muncha! Muncha!; the Sibert-Award-winning Giant Squid; and the beloved Boxes for Katje. She contributed the chapter on Katharine of Aragon to Fatal Throne.
Candace is interviewed by Ohio Writing Project (OWP) teacher-leader Megan Rodney. Megan is a former second- and third-grade teacher, and is currently the Elementary PD Lead with OWP.
Author Lamar Giles and Educator Kearstin Jacobs
In this episode of The Write Time we visit with award-winning author Lamar Giles and middle-school educator Kearstin Jacobs. Lamar writes for teens and adults across multiple genres, with work appearing on many “Best Of” lists every year. He is the author of the acclaimed novels Fake ID, Endangered, Overturned, Spin, The Last Last-Day-of-Summer, Not So Pure and Simple, and The Last Mirror on the Left as well as numerous pieces of short fiction. He is a founding member of We Need Diverse Books and resides in Virginia with his wife.
Author Gholdy Muhammad and Educator Christopher Rogers
This episode of The Write Time features educator and author Dr. Gholnecsar (Gholdy) Muhammad. Dr. Muhammad is an Associate Professor of Language and Literacy at Georgia State University and is the author of the best-selling book, Cultivating Genius: An Equity Model for Culturally and Historically Responsive Literacy. She works with teachers and young people across the United States and South Africa supporting best practices in culturally responsive instruction.
Dr. Muhammad is interviewed by Christopher Rogers, a Ph.D student within the Reading/Writing/Literacy program at PennGSE. Chris also serves as Public Programs Director for the Paul Robeson House and Museum and serves as Curriculum Co-Chair for National Black Lives Matter at School.
Author Kwame Alexander and Educator Tyler Jones
This episode of The Write Time features Tyler Jones, a teacher-consultant with the Louisville Writing Project, interviewing Kwame about this knockout novel.
Author Ann E. Burg with Educator Amy Bouch
Ann E. Burg worked as an English teacher for many years before becoming a full-time writer. Flooded, Requiem for Johnstown is her fourth verse novel published by Scholastic Press. Her books have received numerous awards and commendations, including most recently, the Bank Street College Claudia Lewis Award.
Ann is interviewed by Amy Bouch, a reading-obsessed 8th grade English teacher at Chartiers Valley Middle School near Pittsburgh. Amy is a Western Pennsylvania Writing Project (WPWP) teacher-leader and the Vice President of the Western Pennsylvania Council of Teachers of English (WPCTE).
Author Matt de la Peña and Educator Aeriale Johnson
Matt de la Peña is the first author to make his second appearance on The Write Time! Matt is a #1 New York Times bestselling and Newbery Medal-winning author. He has penned six critically acclaimed YA novels, including Mexican WhiteBoy and The Living, which was a Pura Belpré Author Honor Book. Matt’s picture book Love was a #1 New York Times bestseller, and Last Stop on Market Street was awarded a Newbery Medal. Matt lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Aeriale Johnson is a Reggio-inspired, abolitionist teacher of third graders at Washington Elementary School, a school bursting with the energy of multiculturalism and multilingualism in downtown San Jose, CA. Aeriale is dedicated to antiracism and works every day of her life to disrupt oppressive systems and promote a more just and equitable world wherein all folx can thrive.
Author Chris Crutcher and Educator Stephenie Eriksson
Chris Crutcher’s years as a teacher, then director, of a K-12 alternative school in Oakland, California through the nineteen-seventies, and his subsequent twenty-odd years as a therapist specializing in child abuse and neglect, inform his thirteen novels and two collections of short stories. Chris has received a number of coveted awards, from his high school designation as “Most Likely to Plagiarize” to the American Library Association’s Margaret A. Edwards Lifetime Achievement Award. His favorites are his two Intellectual Freedom awards, one from the National Council for Teachers of English and the other from the National Coalition Against Censorship. Five of Crutcher’s books appeared on an American Library Association list of the 100 Best Books for Teens of the Twentieth Century (1999 to 2000).
Chris is interviewed by Stephenie Eriksson, a National Board Certified Teacher, a teacher-consultant with the Ohio Writing Project, and a past-president of the Ohio Council of Teachers of English/Language Arts. For over 22 years, Stephenie has taught readers and writers in Blanchester, Ohio. She started her career teaching seventh and eighth grade and currently teaches sophomores, juniors, and seniors.
Author Joseph Bruchac and Educator Caitlin Johnson
Joseph Bruchac is a Nulhegan Abenaki citizen and a leader among his people. He is the author of more than 120 books for children and adults, including his best-selling series, Keepers of the Earth: Native American Stories and Environmental Activities for Children.
Joseph is interviewed by Dr. Caitlin Johnson, an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians. Dr. Johnson is an English teacher at Dakota High School in Fargo, North Dakota.
Author Abdi Nor Iftin and Educator/Author Kate Kennedy
Abdi Nor Iftin has been featured on various radio and TV stations sharing his life story of growing up in a country torn by civial war and immigrating to the United States in 2014. His new book Call Me American was released in 2018 and is a finalist for New England’s Bookseller’s Association book awards.
Abdi is interviewed by author and educator Kate Kennedy. Kate taught writing at Portland High School, was the director of the Southern Maine Writing Project, and is the author of Skin, A Memoir and End Over End.
Author Rachel Ignotofsky and Educator Soñia Galaviz
Join the National Writing Project’s The Write Time with New York Times Best Selling author and illustrator Rachel Ignotofsky. Rachel will be interviewed by Soñia Galaviz a 5th-grade teacher and leader with the Boise State Writing Project.
Authors Kwame Mbalia, Varian Johnson, Julian Randall, and Educator Cosby Hunt
Join the National Writing Project’s The Write Time with Kwame Mbalia, editor of Black Boy Joy, two additional contributors Varian Johnson and Julian Randall, and Washington, DC area teacher, Cosby Hunt.
Black Boy Joy, released on August 3, 2021 is a book that celebrates the excellence of young Black males, their happiness, their voices, and their stories. We are excited to discuss the project with them on this episode.
Author Felicia Rose and Educator Tonya Perry
Felicia Rose Chavez is an award-winning educator with an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the University of Iowa. She is author of The Anti-Racist Writing Workshop: How to Decolonize the Creative Classroom and co-editor of The BreakBeat Poets Volume 4: LatiNEXT with Willie Perdomo and Jose Olivarez. Felicia’s teaching career began in Chicago, where she served as Program Director to Young Chicago Authors and founded GirlSpeak, a feminist webzine for high school students.
Dr. Tonya Perry is a Professor and Director of the Red Mountain Writing Project. In 2000-2001, she was named Alabama Teacher of the Year and further awarded National Teacher of the Year Finalist. In 2012, she was named by colleagues and students the recipient of the UAB Teaching Excellence Award. On a national level, she serves as a member of the Research on Women in Education executive board affiliated with AERA, director of the NCTE Cultivating New Voices program, a member of the Beloved Community in the National Writing Project’s Write Now Teacher Studio, and a former National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Executive Board Member.
Author Varian Johnson and Educator Kim Tate
Varian Johnson is the author of several novels for children and young adults, including The Parker Inheritance, which won both Coretta Scott King Author Honor and Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor awards; The Great Greene Heist, an ALA Notable Children’s book and Kirkus Reviews Best Book; and the graphic novel Twins, illustrated by Shannon Wright, an NPR Best Book. Varian was born in Florence, South Carolina, and attended the University of Oklahoma, where he received a BS in Civil Engineering. He later received an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and is honored to now be a member of the faculty. Varian lives outside of Austin, TX with his family.
Kim Tate is a fifth-grade dual language teacher at International Prep Academy in Champaign, Illinois, where she is a member of her school improvement leadership team, as well as co-chair of her school’s equity committee. In addition to being a children’s fiction enthusiast, Kim is a 2021-2022 Teach Plus Illinois Policy Fellow and an NWP Panda Fellow. She attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Millikin University, where she received her B.S. in Elementary Education. She is currently completing her MEd in Education Policy, Organization & Leadership at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Author Carmen Oliver and Ranger Lessard
Carmen Oliver grew up in Manitoba, Canada, surrounded by lakes and prairie grass where she built tree forts, caught tadpoles, and sailed on homemade rafts. She is the author of the picture book series Bears Make the Best Buddies (Reading, Math, Writing, and Science) as well as the nonfiction picture book biography A Voice for the Spirit Bears: How One Boy Inspired Millions to Save a Rare Animal, a Junior Library Guild spring 2019 pick. She’s also the author of the forthcoming picture books The Twilight Library and The Favio Chavez Story. Carmen’s work has been shortlisted for the Rainforest of Reading Award, The Writers’ League of Texas Awards and the CLEL Bell Picture Book Awards for Early Literacy. In 2014, she founded the Booking Biz, a boutique style agency that brings award-winning children’s authors and illustrators to schools, libraries, and special events. When she’s not writing, she loves gardening, cheering on her kids from the sidelines and blue-sky days. Carmen lives in Round Rock, TX with her family.
Kristin Lessard has worked for the National Park Service since 2008, serving in varied professional roles across multiple disciplines. In her current position, Kristin oversees the park’s visitor service operations and engagement initiatives, which include history and fine art education programming for approximately 40,000 visitors a year, as well as dynamic youth and volunteer programs. Kristin graduated from the University of Minnesota with a B.S. in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management and has extensive training in public programming and 21st-century visitor engagement techniques.
Write Out (#writeout) is a free two-week event, led by the National Writing Project and the National Park Service. The event is organized as a series of online activities where educators, students, and the public are invited to explore national parks and other public spaces to connect and learn through place-based writing and sharing.
The theme of this year’s event is “Palettes, Storyboards, and Cadences” and will run from October 10-24, 2021 (which includes the National Day on Writing on October 20).
Author-Illustrator K-Fai Steele and Educator Heather Locke
K-Fai Steele is an author-illustrator who grew up in a house built in the 1700s with a printing press her father bought from a magician. She wrote and illustrated A Normal Pig and her latest book is All Eyes on Ozzy! She was a James Marshall Fellow at the University of Connecticut, a Brown Handler Writer in Residence at the San Francisco Public Library, and an Ezra Jack Keats/Kerlan Memorial Fellow at the University of Minnesota. Born in Charlton, Massachusetts, K-Fai now lives in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Heather Locke was raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. She has been teaching for six years and currently teaches a fantastic group of second graders. As a kid, Heather had an amazing fifth-grade teacher who recognized her strengths and helped her grow. In high school, her volleyball coach and history teacher supported her through a difficult time. It is because of them that she achieved her childhood dream of supporting children through education.