It’s interesting what doors the world of blogging opens. In the years I have been writing this blog I have made many real and online friends, I feel part of a community of like-minded people, have gone to conferences, been offered complimentary stays in hotels, books to review. It’s a huge part of my life and a very enjoyable one at that.
One other spin-off from blogging which I have been involved with for some time is being part of 100 Word Challenge (100WC), which is best explained by its creator, former Headmistress, Julia Skinner:
Each week, as one of Julia’s team, I visit up to 10 pieces of work and comment on each blog. I may suggest improvements with regard to spelling or punctuation but in the main I give them lots of positive feedback. Most of the children are young, aged between 8 to 11, so I have to keep in mind what children in each age group are capable of producing. Taking a look at what their own teacher has written about the work can give me some guidance as to each child’s ability.
I know that Julia is always looking for new people to become part of the 100WC team. You don’t have to be a teacher (I’m not) but what you do need is bags of enthusiasm, a little time to dedicate each week (approximately 30 minutes to an hour spread out over a week) and a genuine desire to help children write creatively. Bloggers are ideal as they know how to navigate themselves around signing in pages, Captcha etc.
The children are based in schools all over the world – UK, Australia, New Zealand, Monaco -and they all love the feedback they receive from their peers and from a team of adults all committed to helping them improve. Each week, the team can suggest which pieces of work are suitable for inclusion in the ‘Special Showcase’, highlighting creative writing which is particularly noteworthy.
If you would like to be part of Team 100WC, contact Julia via the website, on twitter @TheHeadsOffice or comment below and I’ll pass your details on. The number of children sending work in each week is growing, over 1000 this week, so more dedicated adults commenting on their work would make a huge difference.
For me, it’s a very enjoyable thing to do each week. There are funny stories which make me smile, kids with vivid imaginations and then, unexpectedly, a beautifully written piece of work can stop me in my tracks and its message can stay with me for some time. It can be such an uplifting yet humbling experience.