Archive for the ‘Brave Writer Team’ Category

Writing Coach Interview: Samantha Burtner

Writing Coach interview with Samantha Burtner

Continuing our series of interviews with our fabulous writing instructors, here’s the latest installment: an interview with the wonderful Samantha Burtner!

Samantha was homeschooled K-12 and even took several Brave Writer classes back in its early years! She holds a degree in Journalism from Patrick Henry College and has written for local newspapers, city magazines, online news sources, blogs, and even a communications shop at a think-tank in Washington, D.C. Now Samantha enjoys channeling her love of language and writing in the Brave Writer classroom teaching Expository Essay, Essay Prep, and The Scoop: The Art of Journalism. Last, but not least, she was recently sorted into Hufflepuff and isn’t sure how she feels about that.

What kind of a writer were you in high school?
A melodramatic one. My journals are brimming with outlandish tales, embarrassing moments, and comments or gestures blown completely out of proportion. I blush when I re-read them, but I can also see that the pages are filled with experimentation and risk-taking! I could try out new ideas or words or phrases and trust that my journal would be discrete and non-judgemental. As Virginia Woolf puts it: “The habit of writing thus for my own eye only is good practice. It loosens the ligaments. Never mind the misses and the stumbles.”


Writing Coach Interview: Lora Fanning

Brave Writer writing coach Lora Fanning

Continuing our series of interviews with our fabulous writing instructors, here’s the latest installment: an interview with the wonderful Lora Fanning

Lora has a history degree from Mary Washington University and an unfortunate familiarity with chemises due to long days in costume as a docent at living history museums. She nurtures the next generation of wordsmiths around the world as a writing instructor for Brave Writer and as a teacher for local middle and high school co-ops. She practiced her storytelling for 11 years on her blog where she wrote about her full-time gig as a wife to her Superman and mother to seven kids.

What kind of a writer were you in high school?
I was usually the English teacher’s pet. It was instinctive for me, and both my parents are wordsmiths, so I didn’t think it was a big deal. But I definitely relied on my professor mom to help me edit, so that probably improved my grades a bit.

You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?
The shade of blue grey where the sky meets the ocean. The ocean is my happy place. It makes me feel so small, yet is so grounding. It makes me fling my arms wide in worship.

What is one of your favorite classroom moments?
Online: It’s when the parent of that one kid, the one who has struggled from day one, sends you the update that there was a light bulb moment – they grabbed the pencil and dove in. I usually do a lot of fist pumping and air-fives while sitting at my desk.

In-Person: I love doing the Mixed Media Journaling (from Journaling Jumpstart) in my co-op classes. I play music and the kids get lost in words and creativity and the room fairly buzzes with peaceful energy. It’s a joyful mess.


Happy Holidays from Brave Writer

Happy Holidays from the Brave Writer Staff

The Brave Writer Staff is taking time to be with family over the holiday! There won’t be any email correspondence from us between now and the 26th.

Have a wonderful end of the year celebration with your family!

Poetry, Fanfiction, and Chronic Illness with Susanne Barrett

brave Shift Podcast S3E10 Susanne Barrett

As I considered guests for this season of the podcast, it occurred to me that I had never shared our most senior Brave Writer instructor with you! Susanne Barrett and I are homeschool friends, writing colleagues, fellow Californians, and passionate writers. Susanne has taught with Brave Writer for more than a decade, instructing our high school students in topics ranging from the MLA Research Essay to Fan Fiction to Shakespeare! She shares on the podcast about all of that and more—including her own struggle with chronic illness in the midst of her very full life.

Episode 10: Susanne Barrett

Susanne homeschooled her four children, has over 2 million fans of her fan fiction, and is one of our most beloved writing instructors. She shares her teaching and personal writing experiences on today’s episode!

Listen to the Podcast

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Would you post a review on iTunes for us? You’ll help a homeschooler like you find more joy in the journey when you do. Thanks in advance!

NEW FEATURE! We’ll be sharing interviews with our fabulous writing instructors. Here’s our first written interview with Susanne Barrett!


The Brave Writer Staff: Team Pixie Dust

Meet the Brave Writer Staff

Brave Writer is driven by more than my abundance of energy. In fact, I could not do what I do without the magical assist of our extraordinary team! I’d like you to meet them by visiting our newly designed staff page!

And psst: there is a silly video to go with it! I mean SILLY!!!

Click here to see the staff page!

It’s because of these tireless pixies that we get all the good stuff to you with care, kindness, and courage! I’m incredibly grateful for them… and you!

P.S. We also have a website page that introduces you to our fabulous writing coaches.