You have to think I’m kidding, right?
But, I’m not! I’m already thinking about some changes for next year. I don’t have everything worked out yet, but I’m planning something a little different for next year for first semester exams. (I’m speaking mostly about newspaper, here, but this will also to apply to AP Language for next year.) I’m going to be offering the option of people preparing one piece (or a portfolio) to submit to the Scholastic Writing Awards. (Hey, why should only art students get the credit and the $$?) This is a VERY prestigious award, but I think we have plenty of writers who have a shot.
While anyone will have the option of doing this for an exam, I am kind of expecting CERTAIN people (read: staff members w/experience and staff members who are also current/former AP students of mine) to choose this option. Like I said, I don’t have it all planned out yet, but I’ll try to give more info at the workshop. In the mean time, for those of you going to camps, on summer vacation, etc. keep your eye out for interesting stories with or without interviewing. The Scholastic “journalistic” requirements are a little more bendable (think of a mix of journalism and first person essays/memoirs). Even if you’re not going anywhere, you may get inspired. You may want to start keeping a notebook with “sketches” of some kind if you are interested in this exam option. I see this as a chance for students to work with me and a small group of highly motivated other students in a workshop format to develop one or a few really exceptional pieces of writing. I’m really excited to work one-on-one with staff members to do this!
Also, for those of you who were in AP Language last year (whether you are in newspaper or not–so spread the word to other students you know who may be interested), I hope that several of you will take some of the pieces you wrote last year and join the workshop after school to continue to develop them in order to submit a portfolio. Obviously, it won’t be a final exam grade for you if you are no longer my student! But, as I said, this is a very prestigious award and has started the careers of many famous authors.
One way to get an idea of what we will be going for is to read some examples. This is the most recent on-line book I can find: best teen writing 2010. I, obviously, am interested in the non-fiction categories, but if you personally are interested in the fiction or poetry categories, you can always work on those pieces, too. (By the way, I LOVE poetry and would be THRILLED to work with people on this, too–not for a newspaper, grade, of course, but if you’re interested.)
Email me at my school address if you have any questions or want to run any ideas (or even pieces) you may have by me.