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Subject: Children and Shakespeare Article (IWJ, Jan., 1998)
I am a fifth grade school teacher and my students are currently doing Macbeth. We read a children's version first. Then the children wrote a journal from Macbeth's point of view. They auditioned and we have been rehearsing for two weeks now. I kept most of the language and added narrators to shorten the length. However, they are acting out the whole story and are excited to be doing so. I never once told my students that Shakespeare was too hard for them and it makes me sad that many times a student's first experience with Shakespeare is as late as the eleventh grade. I will continue teaching Shakespeare to my grade school students in the years to come. This has been a positive and enriching experience for both the children and myself.
Cerritos, California, U.S.A.
It is great to hear from a teacher who is encouraging her students to tackle Shakespeare at an early age. They will be grateful to you in their years ahead! Thanks for writing and good luck with your next fifth graders.
Subject: Freelance Book Reviews
I'm a freelance writer, and I've recently written a book review of Homebody by Orson Scott Card. I'm trying to sell rights to it to individual papers, but I'm having no luck. Most of them have said they are buying reviews from NYTimes, Knight-Ridder, or the L.A. Times. My question is; what is your advice on selling this to individual papers? Should I try to sell to a syndicate? If so, how? Any and all advice would be appreciated.
High Point, NC
Freelancing an individual book review is not as easy as it is might appear. You should consider approaching trade or specialty magazines, where they are unlikely to print syndicated reviews. Many publications accepting freelance book reviews pay only in tear sheets and books, or may pay only a small amount, less than $50 per review. It would be worthwhile to submit a review for little or no pay because of its value as a clip -- an example of your work. Eventually, when you have built enough clips you may be able to approach the larger book review publishers for a staff position or query your local paper(s) about starting a book review column. Clips can also be effective examples of your writing when you submit queries for freelance articles or short stories. Good luck!
Subject: Wrestling Room
I just wanted to invite a suggestion for us vp chatters. Can we please have a wrestling room in the sports arena?
Benton, Il, USA
Thanks for writing. Unfortunately, we do not have a sports arena and so we have no place to build a wrestling room. We do, however, have a writers chat room designed for Virtual Places which you can find at:
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