Spring Conference

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Vermont Council on Reading  Literacy
2023 Spring Conference
Featured Speaker:  Ralph Fletcher
Friday, May 5, 2023
Sugarbush Resort, 1840 Sugarbush Access Rd., Warren, VT 05674

author photo
Watch Ralph in this conference preview! Click on the photo of Ralph!

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Schedule for the day:

A Day With Ralph Fletcher

9:00-9:15 Welcome and brief business meeting

9:15-10:30: Lifting the Chill in the Writing Classroom

In recent years the writing classroom has become more academic and less student-centered. Real choice in writing has become an endangered species. I’ll talk about how teachers can bring back the spark and sizzle to the writing classroom. This session will springboard off my book Joy Write: Cultivating High-Impact Low-Stakes Writing (Heinemann).

11:00-12:00 How Mentor Texts Lift Student Writing

Young writers need vision to get an idea of what good writing looks and feels and sounds like. The writing in a classroom can only be as strong as the literature that surrounds, supports, and buoys it up. This session will build on my book Mentor Author, Mentor Texts (Heinemann).  It will include a short writing exercise.

12:00-1:00 Luncheon and Awards

1:00-2:00 Engaging Boy Writers

 Empirical and anecdotal evidence shows that boys struggle in writing classrooms. Why is this so? What specific challenges (such as handwriting) handicap boys? How can we widen the circle and make the writing classroom a place where boys  can find their stride as writers? Ralph is the author of Boy Writers: Reclaiming Their Voices.  

 2:00-2:45 Using Photography to Teach Writing

The world is becoming more visual. Students author their lives not with notebooks and pens but through the photos they take on their cellphones. The lexicon of photography (angle, focus, background, zoom) provides a language that is concrete and familiar to students, and one that will make it easier for us to explain the craft of writing. Ralph’s newest professional book is Focus Lessons: How Photography Can Illuminate the Teaching of Writing (Heinemann). 

Ralph Fletcher:   Most writers specialize in one particular kind of writing. Not me. I have published novels, poetry collections, nonfiction, books for teachers and picture books. I find that each form comes with its own particular pleasures and challenges. Many writers suffer through agonizing bouts of writer’s block, depression, or worse. So far I’ve been lucky to escape all that. I write quickly. I enjoy visiting schools, talking with young readers and writers. But I’ve also learned that I need more solitude than most people so I can listen to the words and lines and character’s voices inside me.

If I could have chosen it, what would have been the perfect career for me? Playing center field for the Boston Red Sox, of course! But becoming a writer is also a dream that has come true. I love to write. I love getting up every morning and mucking around in sentences, playing with stories, trying to build my city of words.

Schedule for the Day

8:00   Registration/Continental Breakfast/Book Exhibits
9:00  Welcome and General Information
9:15 – 10:30  Ralph Fletcher
10:30 – 11:00    Book Exhibit Break
11:00 -12:00  Ralph Fletcher
12:00 -1:00  Luncheon/Award Presentation/Raffle
1:00 – 3:00  Ralph Fletcher

Act now! Reserve a room at Sugarbush using this Lodging Link.

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Conference fees


  • If paying by purchase order please send a copy of the PO with your completed registration form. Payment (check or purchase order) to Vermont Council on Literacy must accompany each registration. Registrations without payment will be returned.  
  • Purchase Orders must be sent to: Katherine Knox, 124 Quinlan Farm Lane, Charlotte, VT 05445

    • If using one check or purchase order for multiple registrations, please enclose information (name and email address) for each person and include with the payment.

    Act now! Reserve a room at Sugarbush. There will be a room price for attendees of the VCR Spring Conference 2023! Vermont Council on Literacy Room Rate