Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Family Literacy Self-Publishing to Connect in the Era of COVID-19

Looking for a family project? Now is the time to tell your family story! Try observing and writing a story about your family's fun and funny at-home experiences and interactions. Then, work with your children to self-publish it. 

Researched by V. L. Williams-Sanchez
Self-publishing, defined as when a writer publishes their own work at their own expense (Tiwari, 2017), offers wonderful opportunities for families to take ownership of their literacy and literate lives.

According to a Bowker report, the number of self-published titles increased by 30% from 2016 to 2017. And that number continues to rise with more and more people, from all walks of life, engaging in authorship.

From book reading, to book writing, this windfall of "at-home together time" can offer a chance to propel student literacy learning forward, as well as to recast family interactions into socially constructive and educationally productive daily activity that can be turned into a short-term project while the kids are home.

And social distancing need not be a hurdle. As an example, consider having your kids talk with their family members, including grandparents who might not be living in the same household, to mitigate our senior's social isolation while the kids report on and capture a story or two from their elder's youth. The exercise will offer an opportunity for family connectedness, while maintaining social distancing which is critical at this time.

Have older children write and younger children illustrate these stories to make a wonderful creative family project that once published, will become a family heirloom. And with the growth of self-publishing, as show in the graphic above, your family's novel, picture book, or short story collection will be in good company!

  • Self-Publishing in the United States: Print and eBook, Bowker, LLC, 2017.
  • Tiwari, N. (2017). Self publishing in the 21st century. PUB 371: The Structure of the Book Publishing Industry in Canada.

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