The best writing comes from a place of need.  What is the story you need to write?  What is the story you need to read?  I want to push students to look at their deepest needs in order to inform their writing and help them find their voice.  One of my methods is to get students to occupy the head space of their characters to really understand where each is coming from, whether it's a main character, or a very minor character.  It's a little like therapy -- but for fictional people.  

In the beginning stages of writing, I help writers figure out what is the real story they're trying to tell -- which is often NOT on the page in an early draft.  Helping students to develop an idea from a mere hint of what appears on the page is at once exhilarating and frightening, but it is where the real work begins.  Once the real story idea is identified, we work on the basics of storytelling and the elements that hold it together and keep the plot moving: characterization, pacing, setting, plot development.

Once of my main focuses is on authenticity -- ensuring that the writer stays true to their vision and true to the story and characters, which often means taking time to do revisions and research, and not paying attention to what anyone else is doing!

I hope to always teach students to push past their fear to get to their authentic work.

Learn more about Tracey at her website, www.traceybaptiste.wordpress.com, or on Facebook.

Work

Books

The Totally Gross History of Ancient Egypt (2016)
The Jumbies (2015)
Angel's Grace (2005)

Conferences, Etc.

KidLitCon (Keynote Speaker) 2015
Mid-Atlantic Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators Faculty (2015)
New Jersey Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators Faculty (2015)
New England Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators Faculty (2015)

Awards 

Angel's Grace was named one of the 100 best books for reading and sharing by NYC librarians; The Jumbies was a Junior Library Guild Selection.

Education

M.Ed., Elementary Education, New York University 
B.A., English and Comparative Literature, New York University