Anne Osterlund

I am an author, an educator, and a presenter. I grew up on a wheat ranch in the sunshine of Eastern Oregon and have always felt that the students of Eastern Oregon deserve the same opportunity for inspiration, imagination, and advanced academics as students throughout the state and the country. My goal as an artist-in-residence is to share my passion, enthusiasm, and knowledge about writing with students—but more significantly, to help students share and express their own creativity, imagination, and ideas through narrative writing. As a teacher, I have seen many students struggle and agonize over the process of creating a perfect paragraph.

The activities offered in my residency alleviate that agony. Students are not asked to create polished, perfect pieces; but to explore the freedom of writing while learning advanced writing skills. Often struggling writers create more in one of my five-minute story starter exercises than during days of regular classroom writing time. My philosophy toward writing for publication, both as a teacher and a published author of books for teens, is that writing is a process of discovery. Writers of all ages need inspiration, a challenge, and the chance to explore. And the tools to ultimately transform ideas into story.

Residency Objectives:
Students will explore advanced narrative writing skills, using many of the same techniques as professional authors. Upon completion of the residency, the students will be able to (TSWBAT) create a character, design a character-based plot, recognize the elements of plot, generate conflict, write a beginning in media res, and write strong dialogue.

Residency Descriptions:
Anne offers two types of residencies –

Author Adventure—A Fiction-Writing Safari: Join the Safari and explore the art of narrative writing! Students will create their own characters, develop plot by “throwing rocks at their character;” write intriguing beginnings in a matter of minutes; plunge into point of view; and put their characters in place. All using techniques practiced by professional authors.

On the Edge—A Young Adult Writing Residency: Take the YA writing plunge and explore the art of advanced narrative writing! Students will create characters, generate conflict for plot, write action-oriented beginnings; and turn dialogue into drama. All using techniques practiced by professional authors and under the instruction of an award winning author of teen novels.

Staff and Community Offerings:
Author’s Toolbox Educator Workshop: A 1-2 hour hands-on workshop about the art of teaching writing designed for educators. Wish you could help your students learn to write like real authors? Come learn techniques for doing just that. Give students real purpose, help them tackle advanced skills, and free their imaginations. Come practice and learn how to create your own author’s toolbox!

I also offer an adult/community version of my writing-in-residency program. This is described under community offerings.

Facilities and Supplies:
All students will need a pencil, at least 12 sheets of writing paper, a chair, and a desk and/or table surface.  Each child needs a folder and/or large piece of folded construction paper that can serve as a writing folder throughout the residency.

Material Costs:
The only materials cost of this residency would be printing/photocopying worksheets and a $50 reimbursement of fabric scraps for a character creation lesson.

Connection to other Subjects:
My residency program is writing-centered and correlates directly to the Oregon and National Writing standards. Many of the skills taught—while scaffolded to reach an age-appropriate audience—are advanced-level narrative writing skills—skills taught during university-level fiction writing courses and at professional writing conferences. In addition to meeting writing standards, the writing activities and/or skills within this residency can be used to improve learning in reading, science, and social studies.