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Why I Write

Why I Write podcast is produced by the National Council of Teachers of English and hosted by C.C. Chapman of "Accident Hash" fame. Why I Write is a bi-weekly podcast similar to Lifehacker's "How I Work" series in which we delve into the topic of writing by talking with authors from variety genres and methods to hear their take on writing and its importance both in their lives and how it should be important in each of ours.
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Now displaying: August, 2017
Aug 24, 2017

You may recognize Byron Pitts’s name and face because he has been part of the American landscape for a number of years. He is currently the co-anchor of Nightline and the chief national correspondent for ABC News. In the past, Byron has served as the chief national correspondent for CBS News and contributing correspondent for 60 Minutes.

Byron’s newest book, Be the One: Six True Stories of Teens Overcoming Hardship with Hope, shares the heartbreaking and inspiring stories of six young people who overcame impossible circumstances with extraordinary perseverance. In dark circumstances, these six teens needed someone to “be the one” for them—the hero to help them back into the light. Through stirring interviews and his award-winning storytelling, Byron brings the struggles and triumphs of these everyday heroes to teens just like them, encouraging all of us to be the source of inspiration in our own lives and to appreciate the lives of others around us.

Our podcast conversation covered a variety of topics, including inspiration and the struggles he has faced in his own life with words. When the interview was over, I remember feeling as if I had spent the last hour catching up with an old friend, rather than interviewing someone I had just met.

Byron has received several awards, including national Emmy Awards for his coverage of the Chicago train wreck in 1999 and the attacks of 9/11. He also garnered recognition as NABJ Journalist of the Year in 2002 for his 9/11 coverage.

Aug 7, 2017

Laurie Halse Anderson is a writer known to many of you, but she was unknown to me until I walked into a panel at the 2016 NCTE Annual Convention about censorship and instantly appreciated her frank and blunt manor.

She explained to me on the podcast that “life is short. I don’t believe in hiding the truth.” When I discovered that she is a New Englander at heart, It all made sense.

Laurie is a New York Times–bestselling author who writes for kids of all ages. Known for tackling tough subjects with humor and sensitivity, her work has earned numerous national and state awards, as well as international recognition.

Two of her books, Speak and Chains, were National Book Award finalists. Laurie was honored with the 2009 Margaret A. Edwards Award given by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) of the American Library Association for her “significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature.”

We chatted about her writing process and the long walks she takes when brainstorming. You’ll find interesting the role technology plays in these walks. I sure did.

She shares the story of her second-grade teacher’s role in making her appreciate the power of words, and she lets us know the best book she has read in the last decade.

Even though she was fighting a cold for this interview, we had a great discussion about many different things.

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