More from PCTELA


Whoever chairs the Pennsylvania Council of Teachers of English and Language Arts (PCTELA) Conference always gets a great line up of featured speakers.  Amy and Julie really outdid themselves this year.  Laurie Halse Anderson – need I say more.

Before I talk a bit about what she had to say I must say that one of the perks of being on the PCTELA Board is that I get a chance to have lunch with the speakers.  Here  are both Laurie Halse Anderson and Jennie Brown.


Laurie started her presentation by saying that her role as a writer is to, “tell the truth.”  It might be uncomfortable to some, but it must be told.



Here is how she summed up the different drafts of her writing.


Then there was her thought on censorship.


She stated that many students hate the way writing makes them feel.  As a result, many procrastinate.  However, as she goes on to explain, procrastination is a tool used to keep from writing.  I admit that I do fall into this category.

Her one truth about writing is that, “It’s really hard.” One thing she stressed was that the majority of writing takes place in the revision process as this blurry slide shows.  “Keep calm and Revise, Revise, Revise.”


To give students more time to write, she suggests that shorter assignments be given so that students have more time to revise.

She ended her presentation with these words:

Words have poser!”

As I said earlier, there are some perks to being on the PCTELA Board.  Because I like to get down to the registration table early to help set things up for the day I got a chance to talk with Laurie while she was waiting for the shuttle to take her to the airport.  It was nice to just have a conversation with her without others waiting in line for a book signing.




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11 responses to “More from PCTELA

  1. Judy C.

    You had some amazing presenters. Glad that you got the chance to talk and learn from them.

  2. I shared what she said about the writing process with my son, who was (is) having trouble “getting started.” I meant so much to hear her share it and then to say, Laurie Halse Anderson said this about writing!

  3. Meeting authors “in person” is always such a treat! Having time to talk- amazing!!

  4. lindabaie

    I do love going to the conferences as I’ve shared before. Lucky you to have that time with Laurie HA. She’s faced censorship before I know & keeps writing truth! Hurrah!

  5. Goo advice for writers of all ages.It can be hard to convince kids (and adults) that is OK for their first draft to be a “hot mess”.

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