Literature in the making


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Slides accompanying my upcoming webinar about literature and lit projects with authors!
Bookable here: http://lpm.dzs.lpm/Webinar/index3.php
On 02. 05. 2017 | 19:00h - 20:30h CET
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Literature in the making

  1. 1. Literature in the making! LPM Webinar May 2, 2017. Presenter: M.-Hélène Fasquel – American OIB Language and Literature instructor. Lycée Nelson Mandela, Nantes. Guest authors: Cathi Unsorth, Kai Strand, Eric Price and David Arenstam. Host: Amélie Silvert Organizer: Jurgen Wagner. 1
  2. 2. OIB Language and Literature  International option  L/L syllabus:13 works  6 hours and a half per week  Includes: ◦ Traditional analysis of literature (close reading, essay writing, commentary practice, debates, discussions, group/pair work, project-based pedagogy, oral practice, presentations,…) ◦ Guest speakers, webinars, online creative competitions, projects involving American and French- speaking authors,…) ◦ But also flipped learning (when most appropriate), ◦ And IT-enhanced classes. 2
  3. 3. ◦ Reading the first 2 chapters of Unveiling the Wizard’s Shroud; ◦ Analyzing Eric’s style, the characters’ psychology, personalities, in order to be able to write the next chapter, ◦ 2 Skype interviews; ◦ Reading the various documents shared on Padlet, ◦ Reading their friends’ chapters; ◦ Publishing the new chapters on Eric’s author’s website in order to start a competition ; ◦ Webinar with Eric, Katie Carroll, and Kai Strand (discussion of the creative process); ◦ Webinar with 3 French-speaking authors: Nathalie Bagadey, Cyane and Sophie G. Eric Price project (Since 2014)
  4. 4. New project: Literature in the making  Author partnership.  Skype interviews and analysis of today’s literature!  All the links and slides  4
  5. 5. One project -- 3 steps Readin g the excerpt and analyzing it Step #1 Preparing the interview (questions, discussion topics) Step #2 Skype interview and discussio n Step #3
  6. 6. Aims  To discover new contemporary authors,  To analyze the excerpts,  To study different genres (fantasy, whodunit, contemporary poetry, historical fiction…),  Authors directly engaging students and discussing their creative process, their experience and writing habits. 6
  7. 7. Method  I share with the students: ◦ an introduction by the author, ◦ A short biography, ◦ The excerpt, ◦ Reminders (literary analysis), ◦ Specific questions depending on the excerpt, ◦ A bibliography including the extract recorded by the author and a blog post. 7
  8. 8. Cathi Unsworth: what I write about All of my novels really set out to explore why crimes are committed and our reactions to them as a society. Some of them are based on specific crimes that did happen but had no proper resolution, others are inspired by events that highlight areas I am concerned about. Because noir fiction has almost always been told from a male viewpoint, and because the majority of crime victims are women, I try and look at this from a female perspective. However, in the case of Weirdo, the transgressors are female, which made it even more of an interesting challenge to write. 8
  9. 9. Cathi Unsworth: How I write Up until recently, I was working full time as a sub editor and had to fit my writing in around that. I always used to write in my lunch hour, and I really enjoyed having that break. I don't think you have to have any sorts of rituals to it, you want to write you just grab the time you need. If you can write two pages a day, every day, you can write a novel in a year. It breaks it down to a less intimidating form and becomes something you can't wait to get back to. This is how I have done all mine! 9
  10. 10. Cathi Unsworth: Research I love doing research into historical crimes, because you look for the villains and you will find unsung heroines and heroes who never got their say. I think of my work as giving them a voice. At the moment I have been researching the 1940s, which although a terrifying world had many inspiring people living within it and just getting on with their lives in the middle of a World War, which is both humbling and fascinating to learn about. 10
  11. 11. Cathi Unsworth: my favourite writers/influences My favourite crime fiction writers are Derek Raymond, James Ellroy, Jake Arnott and David Peace - all people who use the true secret histories of our times to tell their stories. I love the way these brilliant writers weave in all sorts of pop-cultural elements to tell their tales, and how subversive they are with it. 11
  12. 12. Cathi Unsworth: my favourite writers/influences I have also been very influenced by the women I grew up admiring - Siouxsie Sioux, Lydia Lunch and Joolz Denby are my three punk era icons, and two of them, Lydia and Joolz, also are fantastic noir writers. I was lucky to have such strong role models and to have met all three and found them as wonderful in real life as I thought they were. 12
  13. 13. Cathi Unsworth: my favourite novel is I Was Dora Suarez by Derek Raymond (Robin Cook in France), because it made me want to become a crime writer myself. I was lucky enough to meet Derek/Robin when I was much younger and he inspired me in literature the way Johnny Rotten had in music. This was the first noir fiction I read where the victim was the most important person and that is something I always keep with me. 13
  14. 14. Cathi Unsworth: Music Music always forms a big part of my research - I look up the most popular songs of the day and then start listening in and I find that somehow opens 'The Time Tunnel' effectively. Perhaps because a moment is captured forever on a recording. During the 1940s I found the music to be perhaps my favourite of any period - the big band swing sound, made by all the people Adolf Hitler most wanted to kill: Jewish people, black people, homosexuals, intellectuals - often all of them in the same band. And it is so alive, inventive, joyful and beautiful and it makes you want to dance and laugh and forget yourself - incredibly important then. No wonder Hitler lost. 14
  15. 15. Cathi Unsworth: Film/TV archives plus Pulp Fiction I also like looking at contemporary films and TV archives, most of which I can find at the South Bank in London at the British Film Institute, where they have a public access library you can search and watch from their archive. You get speech patterns from that, as well as the clothes people wore, the way they did their hair, what their main concerns lay with. This also ties in with reading contemporary literature from the time period concerned. A proper historian once told me this is way more useful than reading history books, as again you get within popular fiction how people spoke, looked, where they hung out, what their habits were. You also get inspired by the quality of the writing. 15
  16. 16. Cathi Unsworth: Importance of teaching I think we have to make sure future generations continue to value the written word as a powerful means of communicating and gaining knowledge. It is something that has really been eroded in my country, where libraries are facing closure and English - and history - is taught in a very limited way compared to how it was in my own childhood. The Establishment knows that knowledge is power which is why we have to go on reading and producing books ourselves. 16
  17. 17. Cathi Unsworth  For more information about Cathi and her books please visit  Facebook: Cathi Unsworth, Writer 17
  18. 18. Kai Strand  Award winning and best selling author of fiction for kids and teens.  Also publishes for new adult & adults under the name LA Dragoni  Along with author websites, social media accounts, newsletters, & blogs, manages or contributes to publishers’ social media presence. 18
  19. 19. Kai’s creative process 19 • First Draft Usually work on more than one at a time, but I work straight through from beginning to end with very little editing during the first draft. • Revision I like to go through at least two revision cycles on my own before sharing with anyone. Sometimes it is just beginning to end, other times it is reading the story backward a chapter at a time. • Critique My critique partners finally get to see it. • Revision This is when I implement their suggestions – they may ask for more out of a character, back story or stronger character motivation, stronger setting, etc.
  20. 20. Kai’s creative process (cont.) 20 • Read aloud My own kids are usually my audience. I ask for their feedback as I go along. Try not to ask leading questions. More like, “What is the main character’s conflict? What do think he’ll do next to try to resolve it?” This is especially important if I’m trying for plot twists. I want to make sure the mc acts out of character. • Revision This is usually the lightest round of edits. • Submission I’ve learned two things about writing. 1. You’ll never be completely satisfied with the story, so it is impractical to wait for that to happen. Time to submit is when you are very pleased with it. 2. You will go through more edits with the publisher anyway, so it’s equally impractical to fall madly in love with that particular draft of the story or you will be very disappointed when you see their suggested edits.
  21. 21. Kai’s Skype visit I visit classrooms every chance I get. I love talking with students about writing, their reading habits, their hobbies. It was a pleasure to visit Marie’s class and speak directly with each student. 21
  22. 22. For more information about Kai and her books visit 22 Young Adult Middle Grade Find Kai online: Facebook: Kai Strand, Author Twitter: @KaiStrand Contact her at
  23. 23. Eric Price Why I write fantasy  Reluctant Reader ◦ Comics ◦ Sci-Fi/Fantasy ◦ Stephen King  Hi-Low Readers ◦ A story I would have liked to read ◦ Typically enjoy Fantasy  Chance ◦ Writing Course ◦ 3 Choices 23
  24. 24. Eric Price Influences Palahniuk ◦ Style King ◦ Characters Rowling ◦ Plot 24
  25. 25. Eric Price Working with Marie Hesitation ◦ Internet Scams Rewards ◦ Class Project ◦ Exposure  Students  Teachers 25
  26. 26.  Eric’s website  Flipped learning Scoop It  Literature Scoop It  Literature Facebook Group  Project Padlet  My website References
  27. 27. David Arenstam  A teacher (Thornton Academy) and writer from Maine. 27
  28. 28. David Arenstam  My debut novel – Homecoming: A Soldier’s Story of Loyalty, Courage, and Redemption – was recently published and I am now speaking about the book, the writing process, and how this has influenced my classroom.  Some of my favorite authors are: John Irving, Ernest Hemingway, E.L. Doctorow, Margaret Atwood, Nathaniel Philbrick, and Alice Munroe. 28
  29. 29. David Arenstam  I have always been someone who loves to read, tell stories, and experience all that life has to offer.  As a writer, I can think of no better classroom than observing the people who fill our days and the places we travel to. 29
  30. 30. David Arenstam  You can find more information about me, my work, and my classroom here.   MySecretMaine.Com  Facebook.Com/AuthorDavidArenstam  @DavidArenstam – Twitter  30
  31. 31. ◦ Reading Cyane’s novel, Les Enfants de Calliope, about the environment, ◦ Writing a summary of one chapter (group work), ◦ Sharing it with a researcher, James McKay, University of Leeds, in order to help him work with Cyane (English version). Excerpts. Cyane – research and literature
  32. 32. Cyane’s contact information:   E-mail:  32
  33. 33. eTwinning project  eTwinning project involving 4 schools (British and American International Sections) with Chris Segond, Debra and Heather Bainbridge.  Building Bridges: From 3e Inter to 2nde OIB  In this project, four international sections will come together to build links. This project focuses on the difficult steps of transitioning from a 3e International Section (British, in our case) to a 2nde OIB section (one American, one British in this project). We will ask our students to talk about their fears and expectations, to give each other good advice for preparing for the 'next step', and discussing reading and the reading process, an essential part of the work we do in the section. 33
  34. 34. Creative writing competition  Paper Planes Creative Writing Competition (Animal Circus by Alix et Mathieu and Devour the pages by Charlotte) Creative writing
  35. 35. What’s the flipped classroom? Studying drama and prose  Drama Padlet  A Streetcar Named Desire 35 The Great Gatsby Shakespeare Hamlet Death of a Salesman
  36. 36. On Twitter: @mariehel2 Slideshare My files on Slideshare. Blog On Facebook, LinkedIn & Google+, eTwinning: Marie-Hélène Fasquel Feel free to contact me! 36 Contact information
  37. 37. 37 Thank you very much for your attention and participation!