So many of us have had to adapt our jobs to new conditions because of COVID19, but you wouldn’t think writers would be much affected. But for award-winning author Jason Reynolds, some important things have changed. Reynolds is the 2020-21 National Ambassador for Children’s Literature for the Library of Congress. Normally, this would have meant traveling through small towns across the United States, talking to young people about writing. And living. And how those things work together. Then COVID happened. Perhaps Reynolds would have been an online ambassador presence anyway, but however it came about, those of us who might not have the chance to see him in his travels now have wonderful opportunities to see and hear him online.
Reynold has two online resources in his GRAB THE MIC series. There is a GRAB THE MIC newsletter that comes out monthly, with vivid thoughtful reflections and stories. I love the story in the June edition of his older brother convincing him to try to fly—and how maybe that wasn’t such a bad thing. I also love the videos in his “Write. Right. Rite.” series Each brief video is intended to spark ideas and writing, always remembering that the “rite” of authentic writing is not the same as the “right” of correct format and grammar. Reynolds is authentic and honest, including his disinterest in boring books and less-than-excited beginnings as a reader. Nothing in these activities are boring.
Write. Right. Rite. is fun. You might be asked to invent a new ice cream, imagine a remote control for the world, write a letter to a loved one at age 15, or write a shower song. They could be great class writing prompts, or in many cases, spark interesting family dinner conversations.
Here’s a sample. Or maybe two. I can’t get them to embed, so just click away. Every class, every family, needs a bit of Write. Right. Rite.