Blog special: Submit your boy writers’ work

January 23rd, 2009

Do the boys in your class sometimes turn in writing that seems to push against the boundaries of good taste or that you’re just not sure how to respond to? Do you have trouble finding a balance between supporting the boys’ creativity and endorsing questionable material?

Stenhouse author Ralph Fletcher has spent years working with boys on their writing—and exploring these questions with teachers. He discusses his experiences in the book Boy Writers: Reclaiming Their Voices and in the new video “Dude, Listen to This!” —where you can see Ralph collaborating with a group of boy writers and a teachers’ study group.

Now you have an opportunity to get feedback from Ralph on some of the writing the boys in your classes are turning in. Pick out some quintessential boy writing from your students and submit it to this website (instructions below; limit of four pieces of student work per teacher) and Ralph will select a handful of the examples to comment on. We’ll also select the 10 most interesting submissions and send a free copy of Boy Writers to the teacher who submitted it. (Note: In order to be eligible for posting on this site and for the free book, you must obtain and submit a signed permission form from the student’s parents.)

So what kind of work are we looking for? Here’s how Ralph describes it in Boy Writers:
“In addition to violent humor (or humorous violence), boys love to write satire and spoofs, writing that deliberately insults, challenges, raises eyebrows, shakes up our staid perspective. On occasion a teacher may have to draw the line when a student uses offensive language, or writes about something revealing, sexually explicit, or gruesomely violent.”

How to Submit
1) E-mail or fax the signed permission form to Zsofi McMullin at, (800) 833-9164.
2) Sign up for the Stenhouse Publishers network
3) Wait for your membership to be approved (you will receive an e-mail)
4) Return to the Stenhouse Network page on Ning and click the “Join Boy Writers” link to join the group
5) Add a comment and upload your student samples with the comment by clicking on the white sheet icon above the comment box

Ralph will look at entries beginning February 20 and will post his comments soon after.

If possible, submissions should be scanned copies of student work so that we can see any artwork that accompanies the writing. If you retype a student’s work into Word, please preserve the original spelling and grammar – we are looking for authentic, unedited boy’s writing.

Entry Filed under: Uncategorized

20 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Terri Quesinberry  |  January 23rd, 2009 at 11:06 pm

    What kinds of writing is he looking for? High kids? Low? EL?

  • 2. admin  |  January 24th, 2009 at 10:13 am

    Hello! You can submit writing from all grades.

  • 3. Amee Herdzik  |  January 24th, 2009 at 10:30 am

    I have a boy whose writing I DO NOT feel fits this stereotype. Are you interested in looking at that also? This is a boy who is popular, middle school varsity quarterback, 6th man on the basketball team and starting 2nd baseman for the baseball team. I feel his writing is the exception to the typical adolescent male writing and would be interested in reading Mr. Fletcher’s thoughts. I respect his expertise.

  • 4. Luz Maria Cuadrado  |  January 24th, 2009 at 11:33 am

    I thank you for this opportunity and was wondering if the writing we submit is limited to a specific length?

  • 5. Tinne Rosenmeier  |  January 24th, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    Can I forward a one act play from a 9th grader? Not disturbing, but might be of interest.

  • 6. admin  |  January 24th, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    Sure, send it along!

  • 7. admin  |  January 24th, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    There is no limit to the length of the work you can submit.

  • 8. admin  |  January 24th, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    Absolutely! Send it along!

  • 9. Regina M. Hendrix-Brown  |  January 25th, 2009 at 10:02 pm

    Will my student’s writing be protected?

  • 10. admin  |  January 26th, 2009 at 8:31 am

    Your student’s writing might be used in future Stenhouse projects (books, advertising, online), so that’s why you need to fill out the permission form. If we do end up using your student’s work, we will credit him or her.

  • 11. Dorothy Edmondson  |  February 1st, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    Would you consider reviewing 2nd grade writers?

  • 12. Dorothy Edmondson  |  February 1st, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    I have an all boys second grade class. Would my second grade class be too young for this experiment.

  • 13. admin  |  February 1st, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    No, not at all. Feel free to submit their work!

  • 14. Christine  |  February 3rd, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    My quesiton is how do we know what to let boys get away with in their writing, before it gets disturbing to other students and parents. I teach 1st grade and I had a student writing about Michael Meyers and him coming to Michigan with a knife. I took it in stride, after talking to him about how his writing might upset others, Then I started thinking about it, aside from the fact that he shouldn’t know about this character, is it wrong for him to be writing about things like this?

  • 15. admin  |  February 3rd, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    That’s an excellent question and that’s what we are trying to answer with this event. Would you like to submit that student’s writing so that Ralph Fletcher can take a look and give his opinion about how he would respond?

  • 16. Laura  |  February 18th, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    Will all uploaded writing samples be commented on?

  • 17. admin  |  February 19th, 2009 at 8:28 am

    Ralph will select a handful of student writing for comments.

  • 18. Michelle Bussiere  |  February 24th, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    What is the submission deadline?

  • 19. admin  |  February 25th, 2009 at 8:31 am

    The submission deadline was February 20.

  • 20. Ralph Fletcher comments o&hellip  |  March 30th, 2010 at 11:16 am

    […] the past several weeks we have been collecting some great samples of classic boy writing from teachers across the country. We have received poems, […]

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