Newsletter, December 2005

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Winter Summit Heads-Up: Please make sure that the Winter Summit Conference is on your schedule for Monday and Tuesday, February 6 and 7 in Helena. The draft schedule is available for your review. Attendance at the Summit is required for a representative from demonstration sites and encouraged for a representative from our affiliates. We look forward to keeping in touch with all of you.

Winter Summit Conference Track for Librarians: We’ve planned at least one block of time for our librarians. Look for a brief survey form soon (arriving via our Smart Groups listserv) on how you would like to spend that time: a refresher on archiving materials, a discussion on ways to support teachers, learning new online searching techniques, seeing how Project materials (and other materials) are archived at the Society, etc. 

Winter Summit Conference Session: Writing for Story: Anton Chekhov reached a point in his career where he got paid a lot of money for each of his stories, and he was frustrated that they were taking so long to write. So he analyzed stories and figured out the formula. What is a story, exactly?

I’ll tell you his formula in a 1-hour session at the Winter Summit Conference February 6-7. It should demystify all the talk about “narrative” and “story” that you may have heard. The outline form for a story is different, and maybe easier, than the outline form for an essay. Knowing it may help you get “unlost” in the midst of research by helping you think about what you are looking for, and it could save you hours of revision time by helping you know the three things you should have clear before you start drafting.

Before you come, you’ll want to read Mrs. Kelly’s Monster by Jon Franklin.

Winter Conference Session: Serious Magic: Phil, Renee, Nancy H., and Jenny have been working with Serious Magic to show you what can be done with this video software. Each of them will give a 15-minute demonstration, with a critique of what the software is good for, how much time it takes to use, and what you might want to consider if you are thinking of using it.

Student release forms were due October 1. If we don’t receive these forms, we won’t be able to publish much about your project. We’ll even need to “turn off” the field reports from your school. We also won’t be able to publish any photos of your students in the magazine. No end of problems. Please get them in as soon as you can. You can find the pdf here. Let me know if you need more direction.

Help spread the word: We need to get posters for the Summer Conference up in places it might do us some good. Besides, they’re cool. If you’re going to be at a college or high school sometime this year, please stop by the office and ask whether you can put one up--especially at education departments, where teachers might be lurking. Let us know how many to send you. We’ll give a free poster to whoever distributes the most!

More opportunities for students: Have you thought about assigning a particular student to be the “documentarian” for your project? We always thought it was a good idea but we found out it was a great idea when we received Nancy Heggen’s final report from last year. Read White Sulphur’s summary in the latest issue of the magazine. It was written by one of her students.

Writer’s Breakfast on the Tuesday morning of the Youth Heritage Festival: Each of you will submit 3 essays written by your students a couple weeks before the Youth Heritage Festival, and of these, we will pick 9 essays to be published in the magazine next year. To make the editing process go smoother and to give these students some extra attention for their good work, we’ll meet with them at a special breakfast Tuesday morning. During the breakfast, a writer will talk to them about writing and editing, and I’ll talk to them about the editing process and the commitment it will require. We may even have several editors on hand to help them begin editing their essays. They’ll receive their publishing contracts, too. (We understand that you may not bring the same students whose essays you submit, but if it’s possible to bring them, please try to do so).

New Publishing Rates: We’ll pay $250.00 for essays selected for the magazine and $150.00 for essays selected for Heritage On-line. We pay on publication which means the students are paid after all of the editing is done.

Posted by Michael L Umphrey on 12/12 at 09:26 PM






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