Carmen Oliver grew up in Manitoba, Canada, surrounded by lakes and prairie grass where she built tree forts, caught tadpoles, and sailed on homemade rafts. She is the author of the picture book series Bears Make the Best Buddies (Reading, Math, Writing, and Science) as well as the nonfiction picture book biography A Voice for the Spirit Bears: How One Boy Inspired Millions to Save a Rare Animal, a Junior Library Guild spring 2019 pick. She’s also the author of the forthcoming picture books The Twilight Library and The Favio Chavez Story. Carmen’s work has been shortlisted for the Rainforest of Reading Award, The Writers’ League of Texas Awards and the CLEL Bell Picture Book Awards for Early Literacy. In 2014, she founded the Booking Biz, a boutique style agency that brings award-winning children’s authors and illustrators to schools, libraries, and special events. When she’s not writing, she loves gardening, cheering on her kids from the sidelines and blue-sky days. Carmen lives in Round Rock, TX with her family.
Kristin Lessard has worked for the National Park Service since 2008, serving in varied professional roles across multiple disciplines. In her current position, Kristin oversees the park’s visitor service operations and engagement initiatives, which include history and fine art education programming for approximately 40,000 visitors a year, as well as dynamic youth and volunteer programs. Kristin graduated from the University of Minnesota with a B.S. in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management and has extensive training in public programming and 21st-century visitor engagement techniques.
Write Out (#writeout) is a free two-week event, led by the National Writing Project and the National Park Service. The event is organized as a series of online activities where educators, students, and the public are invited to explore national parks and other public spaces to connect and learn through place-based writing and sharing.
The theme of this year’s event is “Palettes, Storyboards, and Cadences” and will run from October 10-24, 2021 (which includes the National Day on Writing on October 20).
Linda Christensen shares a method for reading and dissecting a poem as a group, then using that as a jumping off place for their own writing. Originally published during the COVID-19 lockdown of 2020, Christensen also highlights the importance of centering the learner in the lesson, something that will always be relevant.