Writer's Workshop

Writer’s Workshop is a highly effective model for the teaching of writing at all grade levels. Teachers who use this method report greater student growth, engagement, and independence—as well as increased satisfaction with their teaching practice.

However, learning to implement Writer’s Workshop—as with all professional development— requires time. It also requires opportunities to:

  • participate in the model and practice the techniques

  • observe Writer’s Workshop in action

  • develop lessons and assessment tools

  • reflect on practice with guidance and supportive feedback

  • engage in meaningful discussions

  • clarify understanding and make new discoveries in follow-up sessions

  • share learning (and the success of improvement!) with colleagues

Because I believe in the power of doing rather than “learning by listening,” I now recommend two days for initial seminars. Two full days give teachers time to actually experience the method before attempting to practice it on their own.  Two days can also allow time for me to model lessons in your classrooms.

In addition to seminars, I offer these support services (also available to schools that have been reading, discussing, and implementing the techniques discussed in my books.

  • Virtual Visits

  • Designed-for-you videos (response to questions or a presentation on the topic of your choice)

  • Informal observations of teachers who have embraced the model and are eager to help support others in their growth

  • New teacher seminars (for schools that have been consistently practicing Writer’s Workshop)

Workshops for Instructional Facilitators and Literacy Coaches

Day 1   Writer’s Workshop (Prerequisite)

This day will provide instructional leaders with a layered, in-depth view of Writer’s Workshop. Writer’s Workshop is a researched-based model that supports increased daily writing and allows students to move through the writing process with explicit instruction, immediate feedback, and authentic audience. The seminar, participants will examine effective routines and teaching practices that help students become skilled, independent, engaged writers.

Day 2   Facilitating Growth in Use of the Workshop Model (For those who have attended my course on Writer’s Workshop.)

This seminar will provide facilitators and coaches with the tools and materials they need to support teachers in their examination, practice, and growth in teaching Writer’s Workshop. Participants will be better equipped to coach individuals and to present effective professional development. We’ll reflect upon and practice ways to help teachers:

  • Risk trying a new model, and sustain practice through the rough patches

  • Increase their understanding of effective minilessons, and their confidence in designing them

  • Assess student writing to determine progress, differentiate instruction, and develop appropriate minilessons

  • Troubleshoot potential problems and solutions

  • Celebrate the rewards of a successful writing program

Please contact me directly to arrange a seminar, residency, or author visit.


"I absolutely loved your workshop. In fact, you have completely changed my life! We have been in school now for 3 weeks and I honestly can't wait to teach writing every day. My kids are achieving so much more than I could have ever asked for and their 4th grade teachers are shocked.  You have truly saved me from a life of boredom in teaching writing.  I am your number one fan in Omaha."
— Lisa Kessler, Fifth grade teacher

Conference Break-out Sessions

The Successful Writer’s Workshop (half or full day)

Writer’s Workshop is an acclaimed model that supports increased daily writing and allows students to move through the writing process with explicit instruction, immediate feedback, and authentic audience.  In this seminar, participants examine effective routines and teaching practices that help students become skilled, powerful writers.  

Successful Writing Conferences (75 minutes)

In theory writing conferences are the ideal method for providing feedback. In practice, they can be overwhelming. Learn how to provide students with specific praise, guide revision, and teach new skills — all within a limited (but highly effective) use of time. You’ll gain techniques to meet the needs of all your students with individualized, motivational, successful instruction.

Hang In There! Building Writing Stamina (75-90 minutes)

All writers struggle with starting, finding voice, organizing thoughts, or continuing when doubt sets in.  Award-winning author Jennifer Jacobson will share tips for maintaining enthusiasm and stamina through all stages of the writing process.  You will not only leave with classroom strategies but a renewed determination to grow your own habit.  

Creating Characters We Care About (75 minutes)

We don’t read about main characters, we BECOME them. Come learn the secrets of that alchemy.  Jennifer will take you through the decisions authors make to create characters that not only come alive on the page but inhabit our hearts. Share this knowledge and your readers will think like writers.

Keynote Speech

Fall seven times, stand up eight.

In this lively keynote,  I share humorous and heartrending stories of perseverance that led me to success as a writer.   I spotlight the determination of my literary characters (which sometimes looks a lot like my own) and reinforces both the necessity and value of failure.  Audience members gain insight on how fiction evolves, and inspired to be masters of their own life story.