Wednesday, May 21, 2008

write your own teacher guides

I ran across a excellent blog interview on the topic of writing curriculum guides for teachers to use in the classroom.

This interview is helpful for writers who want to find work writing teacher guides as well as writers for children and teens who want to create their own guides for their own books.

I would like to do more work writing teacher guides. What about you? Do you have any suggestions for finding this kind of work? Do you think there is business out there for writers like me who are former teachers? I'm thinking of some of you teacher-writers who visit this blog regularly...have you ever thought about offering this kind of service to writers? hmmm...


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otter said...

I would love to write teacher guides. However, like you, I really haven't got a clue how to get into doing this. The market seems to be very tight right now--publishers know what they want, and they're not always using free-lance writers to get it. I've had more than one letter lately (in response to queries or proposals) saying they're not working with free-lance authors right now. On a positive note, I've taken your suggestion and send out letters of inquiry every quarter or so. Recently I received a call in response to one of those letters for a small writing project. (which, in the future, may lead to other projects with that company) If you hear of any way to get into writing teacher guides, let me know. I'm back working on the blog book now (which is why I'm able to be back visiting your blog) that the ESL proposal has been sent out to a publisher. As my co-author says, now we sit and wait. Except I won't be sitting still, idle, now I can work on my other (some contracted) projects!

hmjenck said...

Wow - I'm just getting back into freelancing and hadn't heard about editors not using freelancers. I guess I assumed that with a tight market they would use more freelancers, but, I guess they are perhaps just not producing as much. Makes sense! Good luck with the ESL proposal. Keep in touch.

otter said...

I think what is happening is something similar to what we see in trade books--the marketing people (or maybe the public--not sure which) promote series, or work by known authors. It seems educational publishers also look for series they can publish and promote. For example, Evan-Moor is doing a series of "Daily" lessons on a variety of topics. I think different people write each series, and I don't know what the freelance market is for that. TCR did a huge series on "Practice Makes Perfect," and I think one person wrote quite a few of those books. One of the proposals I have out there currently (at TCR and CTP, I think) is for a math series. We'll see if that idea catches on any quicker than a single book. On the other hand, I have had no luck at all selling anyone on the spelling proposal that is for a series, grades 1-6. I guess it's hard to read the mind of publishers! What are your current proejcts?

hmjenck said...

Thanks for the tip on series proposals. I looked through a bunch of catalogues and saw the same thing. It makes sense - teachers recognize the "name" and feel comfortable using the little money they have to buy a resource knowing what they will get.