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A blog (also called a web log), as defined by Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon, is an online diary; a personal chronological log of thoughts published on a Web page by a writer or group of writers.
J.R. Wagner, author of Exiled, the debut novel of Wagner's young-adult fantasy series The Never Chronicles, teaches young writers how to use social media as a safe, effective writing tool for building their own author platforms. Prior to the event, each class will decide on the framework of its class's blog. Teachers will be provided with detailed instructions on blog moderating, content uploading and social media sharing.
During the presentation, students will learn how to create online blogs for their classes and work together to develop creative titles for their class blogs, identify and/or create captivating images, among other ways to make their blogs distinctive. The program also will cover internet safety and cyberbullying; building blog content; how to target, build and retain audiences; and peer-critiquing.
Introductions (5 minutes)
Who is Josh Wagner?
What is a blog?
What is an author platform?
Notable Blogs (5 minutes)
Reviewing the Constructs of a Blog (5 minutes)
Note: Students and teachers should have already set up the framework for their blogs including titles, templates, layouts etc.
Class Blog Introductions (10 minutes)
A class representative from each class will introduce her/his class’s blog, including title, target audience, content ideas and why they chose each.
The Peer Critique (20 minutes)
Focusing Content, Building a Following, Narrowing the Target Audience (10 minutes)
Safety in the Blogosphere (5 minutes)
J. R. Wagner was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania, during a blizzard. The snow made travel by car impossible, so his father called an ambulance when his mother went into labor. The ambulance became stuck at the bottom of their home’s driveway, prompting the dispatch of a fire truck, which towed the ambulance to the hospital where he was born.
Maybe it was this experience that destined J.R. to love adventure. A competitive cyclist, triathlete, mountain biker and adventure racer, he once received a medal for saving a woman’s life during the kayaking section of an adventure race. And the adventure is hard to miss in his debut novel Exiled (Live Oak Book Group, June 5, 2012), the first book in J.R.’s young-adult fantasy series The Never Chronicles.
J.R. first started writing when he was 10 years old with his own sequel to “Return of the Jedi.” The self-proclaimed “Star Wars geek” had lofty aspirations of working with George Lucas on filming the project. In 1990, he began filming his own version of “The Lord of The Rings” in his parents' basement, but the producers (also known as J.R.'s parents) pulled the plug on the production after he nearly burned down the house. Since then J.R. has written a full-length science-fiction screenplay, a thriller novel and a second screenplay.
J.R. earned a degree in kinesiology from Arizona State University, but was inspired to restoke his creative fires by his two daughters. He also endearingly considers his wife Lisa his muse. It was during their trip to Maine that he began writing Exiled.
Exiled is a fantasy novel written for young adults about James, a 15-year-old boy, who is wrongfully accused of murdering his mentor and banished to The Never, a place from which there is no chance of escape. James must first learn to survive in the inhospitable environment before finding a way to return home, where he believes he must be the one to save his kind from destroying themselves.
Full of sorcery, treachery, tragedy, adventure and excitement, Exiled is book one of The Never Chronicles, which in full, completes the story of James, The Never and the feared Epoch Terminus, the rapidly approaching date marking the end of the world.