Genre Switching for Better Writing

I belong to a Facebook group for self-published fiction authors many of whom routinely make thousands or tens of thousands of dollars a month. The key to their success? Pick a genre that readers like, read as many examples of it as you can, and then write to that genre. While some might dismiss this approach as putting formula over art, their ability to sell does highlight the importance of genre to readers. When we read a detective novel, we expect certain things to happen. In a horror novel, there are certain things characters will never do or say. […]

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How to Engage Reluctant Writers

There was a recent piece in The Atlantic about a teacher who helped her students who get over their fear that they couldn’t write well or that writing wasn’t for them. How did she engage reluctant writers? By forcing them to write a lot. Once they had built a portfolio of writing, they couldn’t say they weren’t writers. They clearly did know how to write because they had written a lot. Beyond that, this teacher engaged with her students, less as students and more as writers. If you focus too much on correcting, you end up marking up all […]

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Creative Writing Class With Stories Without End by Taylor Sapp, published by Alphabet Publishing

Creative Writing Class With Stories Without End

We are very excited to learn that Taylor is going to be teaching a creative writing class based on his first book, Stories Without End, at his Intensive English Program (IEP). Many IEPs offer flexible elective classes periodically. Stories Without End is uniquely well-suited to this kind of extra-curricular class. It can fill 2 weeks or 2 months. Because you can pick and choose stories based on your students’ interest or a topic you want to cover, you can create a very flexible and adaptable modular class. While I don’t have the exact syllabus Taylor is using, here is a one way […]

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Guide to Stories Without End

Our latest book, Stories Without End by Taylor Sapp, came out last week. In case you missed it, or the subtitle “24 open-ended stories to engage students in reading, discussion, and creative writing,” wasn’t clear, the Stories Without End is a collection of 24 short stories that end on a cliffhanger. Students read short stories, discuss them, and then write their own endings: It’s an innovative and interactive way to teach reading and writing. The stories themselves are pretty intriguing and creative themselves, so they generate a lot of discussion. Some have a science-fiction flavor and ask what life would […]

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If the students love it, who we to argue?

When I asked our latest author, Taylor Sapp, to collect some review quotes and blurbs about his new book, he did something I’d never thought of! Sure, he asked his colleagues and some big names in ELT for quotations. But he also asked students what they think. And here’s what they said (only lightly edited): “These creative, intriguing short stories that made me think and wonder what if? Absolutely amusing miscellaneous topics that I enjoyed” “I think it’s useful because we can train a skill that we guess the stories even if we have a lot of vocabulary that […]

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