A conversation with Ralph Fletcher: Writer and teacher of writing
In July 2014 Ralph Fletcher was invited by ALBA and PETAA to present the Donald Graves Address at the ALEA/AATE National Conference in Darwin, NT. It was an inspiring talk, filled with stories about writing and the writer. Intertwined within the stories Ralph presented his audience with key messages about the teaching of writing. Capturing such an inspiring talk as a chapter in a book was going to be a challenge until we came up with the idea of Ralph talking to his readers. After jointly designing key questions that both Ralph and I felt would best capture these messages, we chatted via Skype across the world - Ralph in Portsmouth NH USA in his evening time and me in Shoalhaven Heads in NSW, Australia in my morning time. What fun we had! Even my dog got into the act! The Skype chat was transcribed and sent to Ralph who happily did an edit, tightening and adding where needed. My role has been to carefully work through the original oral conversation and cut-and-paste, add and delete in order to weave together Ralphs' key thoughts and ideas, his 'gems' into a coherent chapter: A Conversation with Ralph Pletcher.