hey! I wrote a book!

November 26, 2012

Post image for hey! I wrote a book!

And I’m so excited to finally be able to share it with you.

You can read all about it here. But come back! I have more to share with you. Including a giveaway.

Originally I’d planned to release the book as a simple PDF. But after thinking about it, I realized that since Workshops Work! is a guide, some folks might like to be able to hold it in their hands. Others might like to read it on a Kindle, Nook or iPad. It took longer than I thought it would, but I’ve made all of those options available to you.

Can you tell that I want to get the word out on writer’s workshops? They’re one of the best ways I know to inspire kids to write. They are also fairly simple to facilitate. I want more kids to experience writing with a workshop, and with this book I’m doing all I can to make that happen.

I’ll be giving away a sample chapter to blog subscribers in the next day or so. I’m offering the chapter A Crash Course in What Makes Literature Work, which I wrote to help workshop facilitators understand the elements of effective writing. It’s a good chapter to share with you subscribers, I think, because even if you don’t facilitate a workshop of your own, you may be able to use the ideas when you chat about favorite books with your kids. Plus, the chapter is full of examples of fantastic kid writing culled from my workshops. I think you’ll like it. (So consider subscribing to the blog if you haven’t already. You can do that here, or from the button in the right sidebar.)

Also, I’m giving away five signed copies of the book. And yes, I will do my best to mail those paperbacks to any place in the world where you wonderful readers might live! (I know you’re an international crew.) For your chance to win, leave a comment to this post before 10:00pm Pacific Time on Sunday, December 2. I’ll randomly choose five winners and announce them here next Monday.

So if you please, go read about the book. Then come back and comment for a chance to win one. And then consider facilitating a writer’s workshop for your kid and a few friends. Seriously, consider it. It might be one of the best things you can do for your kid’s growth as a writer.


{ 72 comments… read them below or add one }

Tara Lazar November 26, 2012 at 7:08 am

I’d love to get my hands on a copy! I teach adults how to write for children, but I need to know more about how to facilitate writing workshops for kids, especially since I will be doing many school visits soon. Thanks for this!


Zane November 26, 2012 at 7:12 am

I’m so eager to read your book! I’ve been following your blog for a while now, and our family finally took the leap into homeschooling last month. One of my hopes for our homeschooling is that we can help our children find their voices as writers!


patricia November 26, 2012 at 8:54 am

Congratulations for leaping into homeschooling, Zane! It has great potential in every way, especially for helping kids develop voices as writers!


Holly November 26, 2012 at 7:27 am

I would love a copy of your book. One of the things I struggle with is finding authentic ways to share my son’s writing, which he is eager to do.


patricia November 26, 2012 at 8:55 am

Workshops are fantastic for enthusiastic writers, Holly!


Wendy November 26, 2012 at 7:41 am

Fantastic! Congratulations! Can’t wait to read it, and I’m one of those people that definitely wants a paper copy to hold in my hands so I can mark it up!


Stephanie Thomas Berry November 26, 2012 at 8:07 am

Can’t wait to get my hands on this one!


stefaneener November 26, 2012 at 8:07 am

It’s so GREAT! I must get a paper copy, because that’s me — and I want you to sign it, and my kids to sign it, etc. etc. . .


patricia November 26, 2012 at 9:00 am

Yes, your kids (and you) should sign it, because your words are in there! And I’m so happy that they are. Your comment about the workshop being like “writing church” is one of my favorites. Will be selling copies to interested folks at Park Day, to avoid shipping fees…


JJ November 26, 2012 at 8:10 am

How exciting, congratulations! Thanks for the chance to win a copy.


Kerry November 26, 2012 at 8:32 am

Congratulations! I can’t wait to read it. I have a house full of wonderful little writers looking for a reason to write more often. I think a workshop is just what we need.


patricia November 26, 2012 at 8:58 am

Kerry, if you have eager writers, start up a workshop! You’ll likely be amazed with how much it can encourage them.


Angela November 26, 2012 at 9:54 am

This is fantastic! I teach English at our homeschooling co-op, and I have some prolific and creative writers that would love this sort of workshop over break. Kudos!


patricia November 26, 2012 at 9:58 am

Prolific and creative writers do love workshops, Angela! Hope you’ll facilitate one, and report back on how it goes!


sam hall November 26, 2012 at 10:27 am

My son just did a school sponsored writing club and even though he says he doesn’t enjoy writing, he really looked forward to sharing his writing. This sounds fabulous and even if I don’t win, I’ve already added it to my Amazon wish list.


patricia November 26, 2012 at 10:29 am

That’s right, Sam: kids who don’t typically enjoy writing often come to love it in a workshop/club. I’ve seen it happen again and again–which is why I wrote this book!


Anamaria November 26, 2012 at 10:29 am

I’ve been looking for a way to facilitate and promote my daughter’s writing, and this sounds perfect! Thank you for making your book available, and for this giveaway!


Natalie November 26, 2012 at 10:32 am

While I’ve got younger kids (9 and 6), I’ve used some of your other suggestions (like dictation) quite successfully, so I’d love to see what else you suggest to encourage writing!


patricia November 26, 2012 at 4:34 pm

Natalie, workshops can be fantastic for 6 and 9-year-olds, especially if they read work that they’ve dictated to a parent before the workshop. You might be interested in the first comment and my response on the book’s community page: http://patriciazaballos.com/community/


Amy Ludwig VanDerwater November 26, 2012 at 10:40 am

I teach about teaching writing and write for children…and I have tons to learn! This looks like a wonderful resource. Thank you so much for sharing it here. – Amy


patricia November 26, 2012 at 1:11 pm

Swung by your website, Amy, and it looks like you’re an expert on helping kids write! If you read the book and feel compelled to chime in, I’d love your feedback on the book’s community page: http://patriciazaballos.com/community/

Thanks for stopping by!


Kelly November 26, 2012 at 10:46 am

I’d be very interested in perusing your book for ideas for the writing workshops I run. Thanks for putting so much work into a new resource!


Lise November 26, 2012 at 11:11 am

Yay! Congratulations! It looks SO good. I have got to revive my ailing blog to do a review of the PDF (I’ll put it on Amazon or something, too, since I’m sure to have lost a lot of readers by now!!). But I have to admit, I’d really love a hard copy; I’m a book person. I’m crossing my fingers to win, but I’ll buy one for sure if I don’t!


Melissa November 26, 2012 at 11:44 am

Oh wow! This is awesome! This is awesome Patricia Broderick Zaballos. I’ve facilitated writing workshop for homeschoolers at the public library. I also did that way back when I was public school teacher. When the kids are free to read and write what they want, you see some pretty amazing things. I can’t wait to read your book!


Alanna November 26, 2012 at 11:58 am

Congratulations, what an accomplishment! Looking forward to reading it!


amy November 26, 2012 at 12:07 pm

I’d love a copy. My 8yo seems to have lots of ideas, but the actual reality of writing turns him off. And my 4yo freezes at the idea of dictation, or always starts telling me stories when I can’t capture them, like when I’m driving the car or making dinner (which may be why she tells me them right then–no pressure!). Ideas on how best to help them would be fabulous.


AmandaXC November 26, 2012 at 12:28 pm

Oh, how I would love to win a copy of this book! I have a couple of reluctant writers, although one seems to be coming around just a little.


Jennifer November 26, 2012 at 12:59 pm

I need this as mental CPR for when I wake up sweaty over not teaching them enough.


patricia November 26, 2012 at 1:29 pm

You know I’m good for that kind of CPR, Jennifer!


Lisa November 26, 2012 at 2:02 pm

Congratulations, Patricia!
You’ve been such a wonderful source of inspiration, guidance and an undeniable wellspring of encouragement.
We would be thrilled to win a signed copy.
Many thanks!


Lindsey November 26, 2012 at 3:26 pm

I’d love a copy of this. I’m an elementary education student as well as a teaching assistant for fourth and fifth grade writing classes. This sounds like a great resource.


mamie jane November 26, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Woo-hoo! I’ve been eagerly anticipating your book! I can’t wait to read it and I would love to have an opportunity to win a signed copy. 🙂


Sharon Rose November 26, 2012 at 4:13 pm

Congratulations!!! Your blog has already given our family and community so many great insights and ideas to work with. The book and workshops are a great resource to add. We really wish you all the best.


CathyT November 26, 2012 at 4:37 pm

I am going to read your book one way or another — I have loved your blog for years and you have great insights. My eldest son, age 18, is seriously contemplating a career with writing as a component – whether a journalist or who knows… The world is a changing place and he is going to figure out where he fits in and how he will help change the world (regular college career will not be his path). Yet as my oldest two (16 and 18 years old) have found their authentic voices I have two younger kids, ages 6 and 8 who I will also homeschool and writing is not on their daily radar, yet….

Hey, congrats once again!


patricia November 26, 2012 at 6:11 pm

So nice to hear from my longtime blog readers, Cathy. Thank you for the well wishes!


Angela A. November 26, 2012 at 4:43 pm

Congratulations on publishing your book! I would love to win a copy of it. I’m always looking for ways to help my children improve their writing.


yin c. November 26, 2012 at 4:52 pm

Hi Patricia,

Congratulations on your new book! I follow your posts here in sunny Singapore. I work as a teacher educator and your ideas are always very useful to my teachers. I’d love to have a copy of your book. Many thanks and best wishes.


patricia November 26, 2012 at 6:13 pm

Hello in Singapore, Yin! I love hearing from readers in far-off places!


Debbie November 26, 2012 at 5:01 pm

This is SO great, Patricia. Even if I don’t win…I’ll be buying it. I think encouraging kids to write (and facilitating their journey of writing) is so SO important. Can’t wait to read it. Congrats. This is BIG! xo


patricia November 26, 2012 at 6:10 pm

So nice to know you’re still reading along, Debbie! My best to you!


Debbie November 26, 2012 at 7:05 pm

Oh yes…I’m always around. xo


Leanne Watson November 26, 2012 at 5:13 pm

Congratulations on the release of your book, I look forward to reading it.


Cath Fraise November 26, 2012 at 5:35 pm

You have accomplished a mighty and awesome thing. I am in awe of you and congratulate you. You are inspiring and I am so happy for you. Good luck. I hope you sell a million copies because you are right on point. So many children will benefit from your wisdom.


patricia November 26, 2012 at 6:14 pm

You always say the most encouraging things, Cath. Thank you!


Cindy November 26, 2012 at 6:16 pm

I always love to get my hands on a resource that supports the learning lives of right-brained, creative children so I can let others know about it. Your blog and writings reflect that so I’m sure your book is full of good stuff. Count me in on the drawing 🙂


Roxy November 26, 2012 at 6:22 pm

Oh man. I have been waiting for this! Please pick me! (Otherwise, I’ll just order one – ;))


PiaHA November 26, 2012 at 6:55 pm

Thanks for the chance to win a copy. I’ve been inspired by your blog as writing develops for me and my children. Thank you!


Gina November 26, 2012 at 7:20 pm

I would enjoy having a copy of your book. I have two children who really do not like to write, and I want to find a way to get them more interested. I am writing a book, myself, and I write regular blog posts but they do not seem to want to copy me.



tereza November 26, 2012 at 8:24 pm

I am so excited about your book!!! You have been such a great inspiration and encourager to me and my free spirited children. Ha!! I would love to win a copy! Can’t wait to read it.


Jacinda November 26, 2012 at 8:41 pm

Wow, great work Patricia. Must feel good to have in your hands. I like the cover. I look forward to reading your words in book form.


Janet November 26, 2012 at 8:54 pm

So happy for you Tricia! I am trying to decide between an iPad version and the book. I think I want the BOOK. Old fashioned girl that I am. We often talk about inspiration and ways to mesh a homeschool construct with my little classroom setting and expectations. Let the inspiration begin! I read the intro and you have me wanting more. J


patricia November 27, 2012 at 9:37 am

Hi Janet! It’s interesting: although I wrote this book for parents, it’s generated some interest from teachers. I didn’t really expect that, because there are so many great writer’s workshop books for teachers out there. (I know *you’re* interested because you’re my buddy! xoxo)

Two reviews have come out from teachers, which might interest you:

Thanks for your support, my friend!


purplemagnolia November 26, 2012 at 10:02 pm

This looks fantastic! And would be a fantastic resource to try out with our school students in lieu of home schooling kids of our own (we’re just at the start of our TTC journey!)



Mary November 26, 2012 at 11:17 pm

Sounds wonderful!


Megan November 27, 2012 at 1:16 am

Congratulations on writing your book! A truly wonderful accomplishment. I enjoy reading your blog, and have found many of your suggestions have helped my son. Your book will make a wonderful addition to my homeschool reference books!! We have a small homeschool group here in Gisborne New Zealand that I’m sure would love to have a writers workshop.

Once again congratulations!!


patricia November 27, 2012 at 9:38 am

Greetings in New Zealand, Megan!


Sandra November 27, 2012 at 4:49 am

Hi! I just popped over from Bird and little Bird and this sounds great! Have also started following you. Your blog seems awesome 🙂


Morag Thomson Merriman November 27, 2012 at 5:31 am

Hi, I’ve just found you via Bird and Little Bird – what a great idea! I like the fact that you’ve written your book with the aim of helping both homeschooled and schooled children. My 5 year old daughter is being schooled as sadly she’s an only child, and needs the company of other children at school. She has a very vivid imagination and loves drawing her own stories, so this would be a great way of encouraging her to WRITE her stories too! Thanks for the opportunity to win your book!


patricia November 27, 2012 at 9:42 am

Many of my readers are parents of kids who go to school, Morag, but who have the values of homeschoolers. We parents are the most influential mentors for our kids, whether or not they go to school!


Morag Thomson Merriman November 27, 2012 at 11:13 am

Many thanks for that Patricia, I totally agree with you! I’m always striving to encourage my daughter’s learning in a more creative and imaginative way, and I can’t wait to read your book!


Monique B November 27, 2012 at 5:37 am

My daughter writes all the time and my younger son just starting to follow suit. I’d love to have a resource like this. Thank you!


mandi@herbanhomestead November 27, 2012 at 7:26 am

I am a former public school teacher turned homeschooling mama. Writer’s workshops were some of my all time favorite moments in teaching. I have been dreaming about hosting some WW parties here at the house for my children and their buddies. This would be so wonderful to help guide that time! Thanks for the chance!


patricia November 27, 2012 at 7:49 am

I used a workshop in my classroom when I was a public school teacher too, Mandi. They were a highlight of the day! Sadly, they seem to be falling out of favor in schools, with all the push for testing and standardization.

One of the best things I’ve done as a homeschooling parent was to start offering workshops to kids in our local homeschooling group. I do them a little differently than I did in the classroom (as the book describes.) I hope you’ll get those WW parties going with your gang!


Karen S November 27, 2012 at 8:02 am

I’m very interested in reading your book. I like paper — and electronic formats too. Do you think you could offer a bundle of both the paper copy and the epub version?


patricia November 27, 2012 at 9:45 am

Meaning for blog giveaway winners, Karen, or for general buyers? Offer a discounted rate if they buy both? Hmm… that’s an interesting idea, and wouldn’t be hard to do, although I’d have to set it up.

In the meanwhile, if you’re interested, contact me via the contact form in the sidebar, and we’ll see what we can do!


patricia November 27, 2012 at 10:30 am

Okay, I’ve added a paperback/eBook/PDF bundle to the buying page, for $11.95 plus $4 shipping.

Great idea, Karen! Wish I’d thought of it myself!


Tara November 27, 2012 at 10:55 am

We are always looking for ways to make writing fun and meaningful. Although I would love to win a copy of your book, I am also putting it on my Christmas list.


Jeannie November 27, 2012 at 12:41 pm

I would love to read this book. As a middle school teacher, I used a lot of Nancie Atwell’s stuff, as well as books by Ralph Fletcher and Katie Wood Ray. As I only have one school aged child at the moment, I’ve wondered how I can make a writing workshop happen without a room full of children.


patricia November 27, 2012 at 10:37 pm

I’m a big fan of Ralph Fletcher, Jeannie. His quotes and inspiration are all over my book!

You certainly don’t need a classroom of kids to make a workshop happen; you just need a small handful. Even three eager kids could workshop together. My workshops are a bit different from what I did in a classroom. The kids write at home, and we use our gathering time to share and give feedback, and to do a brief writing exploration together. It’s more like the model I’ve come across with adult writing groups.

The workshop translates pretty well into a more intimate environment!


shelli : mamaofletters November 27, 2012 at 1:29 pm

What a wonderful guide. I’ve been to many writing workshops, but I’d love to read your advice on doing them for children. It’s a great idea! Congratulations!


Nanette November 27, 2012 at 2:29 pm

I just found your blog (through Bird and Little Bird) and I’m so excited. I would have loved to have had your guide as a teacher but will very much appreciate it as a mother (and teacher in a new capacity.) Have enjoyed exploring your blog and look forward to more posts.


Sara November 27, 2012 at 6:58 pm

Congrats to you! I’ve got this marked for my homeschooling purchases, if I don’t win 🙂 I’ve already benefited so much from the advice you offer on your blog.


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