The Journey Inward: Reflective Writing and the Letters About Literature Program
Presented by Catherine Gourley


9 a.m. to noon
State Library

Roald Dahl once compared writing a book to “going on a very long walk, across valleys and mountains and things.” Reading a book is also a journey, and what an amazing travelogue awaits us!

The reader travels the road the author has carved through those “valleys and mountains and things.” For some, the destination may be the past or the future, a hobbit hole, or Hogwarts. But many more young readers travel to very private places that are not mapped, into the world of an autistic child, or a young girl struggling with anorexia. Not all journeys are pleasant; but for those readers who can make the leap from simply decoding information to feeling and caring about a character, their comprehension is deeper and the journey so much more meaningful.

The Journey Inward is an interactive workshop on reading and reflective writing for educators, librarians, homeschool and afterschool instructors, and parents. The workshop focuses on Letters About Literature, a reading promotion program of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and coordinated in state by the Louisiana Center for the Book which challenges students to explore how a writer’s work somehow changed their view of themselves or their world. The workshop has three blocks:

    Block 1: Metacognition and the Reflective Writing Challenge
    Block 2: Writing Strategies
    Block 3: Assessment and the Letters About Literature Writing Contest

Participants will receive a Teaching Guide for incorporating reflective writing and Letters About Literature into their curriculum.

To register for a 2016 Louisiana Book Festival WordShop, complete this form or call 225.219.9503.

Presenter Catherine Gourley has been the national project director of Letters About Literature since its inception, 24 years ago. She is an award-winning author of more than 30 books, primarily for young adults, and is currently the principal curriculum writer for The Story of Movies, an educational outreach program on visual literacy developed by The Film Foundation, Los Angeles.


Book-loving volunteers are essential to the Louisiana Book Festival's success. Whether it's escorting authors, guiding visitors, selling refreshments, working with children in the Young Readers Pavilion or other fun and rewarding assignments, the Louisiana Book Festival wants you to join the volunteer team.

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