Virtual Writing Workshops

I’m here. You’re there.

I can see you. You can see me.

I can hear you. You can hear me, too.

So let’s write together!!

 

Steven Krasner can work effectively and enthusiastically with your students virtually, conducting his collaborative, interactive and fun-filled “Nudging the Imagination” virtual writing workshops over whatever remote learning platform your school uses to combat the difficult educational dilemmas caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

So I am drastically reducing my rates to help meet these special circumstances.

Papa Stevie, as he likes to be called, can help guide your students in the creation of basic narratives, mysteries, tall tales, newspaper/expository articles, mystery dinner theater scripts, video magazine scripts and total-school chapter books of cliff-hangers.

His distance learning sessions are guaranteed to excite and engage students in the writing process, with such concepts as word choices, the use of dialogue and revision addressed naturally and painlessly.

While Steve has been visiting classrooms for in-person workshops as “Nudging the Imagination” for more than 30 years, he also has a great deal of experience conducting remote sessions, not only in this country, but internationally, as well, including a story-writing workshop for students in Tver, Russia!

All of the writing Steve does with students is grade-appropriate, and while he generally works with elementary and middle school students, his workshops are adaptable for high school.

Steve has been a professional writer since 1975 -- as a sports writer who covered the Boston Red Sox for 22 years for the Providence (RI) Journal; as a prize-winning children’s author, and as an Adjunct Writing Professor at Bryant (RI) University.

In addition, he serves as Executive Director of a nonprofit organization (Rhode Island Write on Sports) that runs summer sports writing camps for under-served middle school students, including a virtual camp in the pandemic-riddled Summer of 2020.

 

Spaces are filling up!   Book Steve Today


“Nudging the Imagination” has gone Virtual at a Reduced Fee!


Steven Krasner brings his popular grade-appropriate, collaborative, interactive classroom writing workshops to you remotely, offering fun-filled distance learning sessions at a reasonable price! Testimonials from his virtual sessions highlight the strong ties to the curriculum as well as the high level of student engagement!

 


From a distance, we can create a fun-filled narrative story, strictly from your students’ imaginations!

Regardless of the platform – Google Classroom, Zoom, etc. – Papa Stevie encourages students to brainstorm for characters and settings, contribute sentences and word choices to the story, and come up with an interesting title.

He can see the students and they can see him recording their suggestions on a whiteboard he holds up to the camera. Maybe Steve sees a student raise a hand in the virtual classroom setting, so he can call on that student. Or maybe the teacher helps with this process, as they try to make sure everyone’s voice is included, giving the students ownership of the class story.

Who has an animal for our story? Who has a first name for the animal? Where might this story take place? How long were books falling off the library shelves? Give me a number less than 10. Someone says 2. Someone else says 5. A third student says 7. Oh, so the books were “raining” for 257 seconds!

That’s how the story, titled, “The Chaos in Library School,” was generated. It starred Krysteen Chinchilla. Is that how you spell Krysteen? Of course it is because this is our story, with our characters, from our imaginations! One of the great things about creative writing is there is no right or wrong.

The other characters were Sherbert Alligator, Fred Monkey and Larree Tiger. The setting was a library school. The problem was books and movies went flying off the shelves when Fred Monkey climbed up to get a book he wanted. The title came via a class vote after several student suggestions.

It’s a fun session, lots of giggles and ideas coming from the “boxes” on the distance learning platform as Steve types them into his laptop, talking about word choices, revision and dialogue along the way.

At the end of the session, the students can take a virtual bow – they are authors, from a distance! And the teacher will receive an e-mailed copy of the story to share with the young authors!

Okay, who did it? How was the thief able to grab the ruby ring? Why was it stolen? And how was the thief discovered?

Your students will have to try to solve this mystery, written collaboratively over a distance learning platform to a point at which a motive has been assigned to each character, with the possible exception of the Detective.

With Steve Krasner’s direction, ideas for characters, settings and the creation of the mystery will come from all “boxes” in the Google Classroom, or on Zoom, or on any other remote learning platform. Steve will record the characters and a setting on a whiteboard, which he shares with the students as the story-writing process commences.

Who has a first name for a character? Who has a last name? What can we do to make the character’s name stand out? Oh, right, give him a title, a middle initial and make him the latest in a long line of family members. And where will the mystery take place?

Steve will call on students whose hands he sees are raised for these suggestions, ultimately typing the mystery story on his laptop.

In the mystery about the missing ruby ring, the students’ choices for characters were Soozan Trash-Canne, Col. George R. Iforgot VIII, M.D., Mark. Z. Spotte, Rachel Sillyhead and Det. Patricia. The setting was a museum in a mansion.

And how much was the ring worth? Well, this is an opportunity for Steve to encourage many students to contribute to the story creation. He’ll point to one student on the screen and say, “Give me a number less than 10.” The reponse might be “1.” Then he points to another student and asks the same question. The answer might be “3.” Ultimately, involving nine students, the ruby was worth $1,387,258.86.

Who committed the crime? Well, that’s up to each individual student. The mystery is written collaboratively in a virtual way to a point at which each character has a motive. The teacher will receive an e-mailed copy of the mystery, which then can be made available to the students for them to solve the mysteries for themselves, writing their own individual endings, following parameters Steve sets up.

From a distance, it’s easy to see why Floyd Flapjacque would be an intriguing interview subject.

Superstar baseball player. Owner of an Ant Farm. Winner of a Betty Crocker Cake Award. Sky Diver. And, of course, a Certified Genius, as he not-so-modestly reminds his student interviewers in a remote learning workshop that shows different ways of looking at the same information while offering valuable tips on how to ask questions and how to take notes.

Floyd is Steve Krasner’s alter ego. In this session, Steve, who covered the Boston Red Sox on a daily basis for the final 22 years of his 33-year sports writing career at the Providence (RI) Journal newspaper, talk about the differences between a News Story, a Feature Story and a Column or an Editorial.

To make his points, Steve shows the class a Journal sports section from April 18, 1991, in which he wrote numerous stories on the 10th anniversary of The Longest Game, a 33-inning baseball game between the Pawtucket Red Sox and the Rochester Red Wings, the longest game in professional baseball history. Steve covered the game and wrote a children’s book about it.

Then the session becomes interactive, over whatever virtual platform the school is using, with Steve sharing Floyd’s impressive resume. Floyd is introduced and interviewed, with Steve calling on students who raise their hands from their remote learning “boxes.”

Ultimately, the students wind up with same bank of knowledge from the interview, and Steve will divide the group into thirds – one-third writes up the interview as a News Story, one-third as a Feature Story and one-third as a Column/Editorial.

This workshop dovetails nicely with chapter review in Social Studies. If you have studied George Washington, one of your students becomes George (your chance to assess). The students then have to have good questions to interview George (your chance to assess). And if students wrote News Stories with Floyd, they’ll write Feature Stories with George. And they’ll write Columns/Editorials when Thomas Jefferson visits the next week.

Maybe you have studied explorers. Magellan. Balboa. Ponce de Leon. Capt. John Cooke.

They had their expeditions. There are facts about their voyages.

But in the Tall Tale genre, and in this Steve Krasner virtual “Nudging the Imagination” workshop, students get to exaggerate those exploits in a collaborative, interactive story.

Remotely, Steve talks about the genre with the students, who, in turn, tell Steve what they learned about these explorers. Using that knowledge, which Steve records on a whiteboard and shares via his camera with the students, they create a Tall Tale, one sentence at a time, with input from the class.

The students brainstorm for a setting. Maybe the story takes place in Magellan’s Restaurant in the after-life, with the explorers playing cards and talking about their respective voyages. The students embellish those stories, with Steve recording those thoughts on a laptop, ultimately creating a story that will be e-mailed to the teacher, who can share it with her students.

Maybe Ponce de Leon sailed through storms and waves that were 4,892 feet high. Maybe one of Magellan’s voyages was troubled by the Loch Ness Monster. Tall Tales should be fun.

Any content can be turned into a Tall Tale. And even in a distance learning setting, these stories, no matter what content, can be fun. Let Steve lead the way on a Tall Tale writing expedition!


“Humphrey rolled one way, and then another.”

Picture your students on Google Classroom, or on Zoom, listening to and watching Steve Krasner as he reads his picture book, “Have A Nice Nap, Humphrey,” showing them page after page of the nicely illustrated book through the camera on his laptop.

In this engaging, interactive virtual workshop, your students not only will see and hear the story about three animal characters who solve problems, they also will learn about the process of writing, illustrating and publishing a children’s book in addition to stories about Steve’s long career as a sports writer.

After reading the story, Steve will take the students back to the original draft of it, through the initial sketches and all the way through the printing of the book, emphasizing that changes were made, that just because you write or illustrate something once does not mean it’s done.

Steve will share these sketches through his camera, having the students point out what might be different from a sketch and how that particular illustration comes out looking in the final printing of the book.

He also will share materials he used as a sports writer, covering the Boston Red Sox on a daily basis for 22 years for the Providence (RI) Journal newspaper, in addition to several replicas of artifacts Steve was given by the National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum, including a 1939 Ted Williams uniform jersey.

This interactive session will feature a Q&A, with students able to ask Steve questions virtually about children’s book writing, writing in general and his life as someone who got paid to watch baseball games! Virtual or in person, Steve has stories!!


Spaces are filling up! Book Steve Today