Student Author Successfully Finishes One-Year Project to Publish Her Book

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Schwartz cover

Jennifer Lee Schwartz, student author, self-publishes her first book.

In this blog, I am sharing how I am mentoring a group of high school science students to write and publish a book about their science research experiences by April-June 2015 with the goal of selling 500 copies by the end of the school year.

I have been working with a group of students for one year now on this project. We started with a couple meetings last May. Now I have three students who have stuck with me through the year and are publishing their books. The first student to successfully finish and publish is Jennifer Lee Schwartz. Her book, available now in paperback, and soon in ebook, is On the Right Track: A Student’s Memoir of Research, Advancement, and Holding on to Hope.

Jennifer followed the process I laid out, and she improved on it by finding people who provided copy editing and helped make her book cover. She followed up on contacts we made back in November at the Ridgefield Writers Conference, and they helped her produce a professional quality book. As her mentor, I could not be more impressed.

If you are a teacher who likes to explore new ways to challenge your students, this project is perfect for you – and now is the perfect time to start. Use my Project Schedule to get started. You can access all the templates, checklists, and other materials at my Resources page. To get a complete description and step-by-step instructions, get my book, Creating Student Authors, to use with your students – one copy will be enough to work with a class or group. The paperback has QRCs at the end of each chapter so you or your students can scan them and instantly get the necessary templates and checklists right on your smartphone or tablet. If you prefer the ebook, it has hyperlinks to do the same thing. I would appreciate your feedback on either format. Good luck!

My next post will be more about my students’ experiences publishing their books.

Subscribe to this blog at https://bryanholmesstem.wordpress.com to get email updates of my posts with tips you can use in your classroom as I describe how I am mentoring six high school science students to become published authors by April-June 2015. Also, please give me your feedback, and please share blog posts with other teachers or anyone who may benefit.

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How to Teach Editing and Revising – Set Up a Writing Critique Group

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Tip#5In this blog, I am sharing how I am mentoring a group of high school science students to write and publish a book about their science research experiences by April 2015 with the goal of selling 500 copies by the end of the school year.

Writing can seem easy as you work on the first draft. The words just flow. Then you begin to look over that draft, and you realize that you could do better. You edit and revise, again and again. After awhile, you almost see mirages of words you edited before, and it becomes impossible to see mistakes.

For students writing a book, this is a real problem. They need to get another set of eyes to look at their draft to help them fix the mistakes. Yet who has time to read and reread a draft book, let alone edit and revise it? Most teachers don’t have that kind of extra time, and other people rarely are interested enough. Only another writer would be willing to help. Therefore, the best people to review a writer’s draft work and help with editing and revising are other writers.

I have six high school science students writing and publishing their own books, so I organized them into a writing critique group. This group is a circle of writers who are dedicated to editing and revising one another’s work. These groups can be organized in different ways—see The Writers Craft for a good description. I told my students to pair up and edit and revise each other’s books, then pair up and do it again with a different person. You can download the Writing Critique Group Guidance I gave them. When they finish, they will all have a well-written, final draft that they can share with beta readers.

Next week, my post will have a tip on how to find beta readers.

Subscribe to this blog at https://bryanholmesstem.wordpress.com to get email updates of my posts with weekly tips you can use in your classroom as I describe how I am mentoring six high school science students to become published authors by April 2015. Also, please give me your feedback, and please share blog posts with other teachers or anyone who may benefit.