Primary Artistic Discipline: Literary Arts
Area of Specialty: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Playwriting, Poetry
Based in: Moscow, ID
Judy Sobeloff works with students on individual and collaborative writing projects of all types: fiction, nonfiction, playwriting, and poetry. She strives to build an inclusive classroom community in which students think of themselves as writers and every student feels valued and encouraged to do their best work. A published author, she’s received several awards, including an Idaho Literature Fellowship and the PEN Northwest Fellowship, a six-month residency in a remote wilderness cabin. A teaching artist since 2005, she has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Washington and completed the yearlong Washington State Teaching Artist Training Lab. In addition to leading creative writing residencies in K-12 schools, she has worked with youth in residential treatment, on the Coeur d’Alene reservation, and on Outward Bound courses.
I thrive on supporting students to challenge themselves and create work that is emotionally true and relevant for them. I believe my background in social services and work with students in intense situations other than school has prepared me well for supporting a wide variety of students in school.
Living in Idaho on the Washington border, I especially enjoy doing residencies in small rural communities where students tend to have fewer arts opportunities. Students I’ve worked with tend to be incredibly appreciative and surprised by how much fun they are having and by the high quality of the work they are producing, and I get tremendous pleasure from hearing students comment that they didn’t know writing could be so much fun or that they could be so good at it. I’m also thrilled when students who teachers have cautioned me are resistant turn out instead to be eager to write and to share their writing. I see initially reticent students lose their shyness in the process of writing and sharing their writing and students who might at first have a hard time settling down becoming increasingly engaged. In using a variety of activities—verbal and physical in addition to written ones—I am able to see every individual student have a chance to shine.
Suitable for Grades: K-8
Preferred Grades: K-8
Curriculum Integration Possibilities: Literacy/Reading/Writing/Social Studies