I’m Erin Dealey, and I write books for kids. I’m a teacher, presenter, rhymer, blogger, and proud Drama Mama.

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Three #amwriting #writingprocess reminders from the Olympics. (Obrigada, Brasil!)

August 15, 2016



Confession: While I’m incredibly inspired by each Olympic athlete, my current personal best is an occasional sprint to the fridge between competitions. Thus, I hereby justify my Olympic-binge-watching by offering three #writingprocess take-aways. #amwriting reminders too. Dive in.

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  1. When I teach the WRITING PROCESS, I neglect one of the hardest parts: The WAITING PROCESS. Like an athlete’s Olympic journey, our writing steps from brainstorming to revision are key, but the WAITING. Yeesh. You’ve submitted your work. You’ve put yourself out there. And now you have to believe. As young writers work through the PROCESS, let them know that authors wait. A lot. Part of an author’s WRITING PROCESS is waiting for response from critique partners, Beta readers, agents, and editors–way before the final PUBLISHING step. Sometimes it takes months. Sometimes you don’t receive a response at all. This is GOOD NEWS, teacher pals! The perfect answer to those students who ask, “Have you corrected our papers yet?” After all, our job as teachers is to prepare students for the real world, yes? Obrigada (Thank you) USA gymnastic All-Around medalists, Simone Biles and Aly Raisman for the reminder that waiting is a huge part of the process. (And CONGRATS!)


2. USA superstars, gymnast Gabby Douglas and swimmer Missy Franklin (Remember London?) deserve medals for cheering their teammates while battling that evil green monster, ENVY and the relentless media. NO PRESSURE.

So often students see A grades and 100% as gold medals. Highlighting the gold in the work of emerging writers, sharing an excerpt from their work with the class, builds much needed confidence. I also add it to our Moments of Magic butcher paper on the wall. Pure gold.

I’d love to say I always view the well-deserved publishing success of author/illustrator friends as another medal for TEAM #Literacy. Admittedly, that green monster stalks us all, but Dearest authors and students (teachers too!):

The SUCCESS of others is NOT your FAILURE.

We all have MOMENTS OF MAGIC. Celebrate those. Obrigada Gabby Douglas and Missy Franklin. You rock. 
IMG_31093. I almost wrote off “veteran” swimmers Michael Phelps and Nathan Adrian —and what about Oksana Chusovitina, the 41-year-old vaulter from Uzbekistan who competed in her SEVENTH Olympics? Well guess what world, I was WRONG. And oh-so-happily so! Kudos to all.

This Phelps-Adrian-Chusovitina lesson applies to the #kidlit world, for the fabulously talented young authors and illustrators, as well as “veterans” like me. As Penguin senior editor Stacey Barney reminded us at the #LA16SCBWI Summer Conference: “Publishing is a marathon, not a sprint.” (Teaching too, my friends.)


A special shout out to the amazing International Schools in Brazil where these photos were taken.

Happy Beck-to-School to all.

Obrigada Brasil! Tchau. My DVR calls…


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