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Write About Asia: 2021 Freeman Award Winners

Write About Asia: 2021 Freeman Award Winners (online)

The National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA), the Committee on Teaching about Asia (CTA) of the Association for Asian Studies (AAS), and Asia for Educators (AFE) at Columbia University sponsor the annual Freeman Book Awards for new young adult and children’s literature.  The awards recognize quality books for children and young adults that contribute meaningfully to an understanding of East and Southeast Asia.
Teachers studied and wrote about the 2021 Freeman Award books for children and young adults during this writer’s workshop.  All participants read one or more 2021 Freeman Award Winners, wrote about the texts and shared writings with each other in breakout rooms.

Program details

This workshop was open to K-12 teachers of all grades and subjects and spanned multiple online sessions.

Workshop facilitators

Lyn Jackson was an English and Japanese Language teacher for 35 years and enjoys working with teachers of all subjects and grade levels.  Although she taught mostly high school students, she has experience working with middle and elementary students as well.  Thanks to EARC, she has participated in countless experiences relating to Asia and Asian culture.

Nora Douglass has taught writing and drama to students of all ages, from third grade to senior adults.  She received her MFA in playwriting from the University of Washington School of Drama.   In addition to winning three Kennedy Center ACTF Awards, including the National David Library Award for best play about the American Experience, she placed first in the Drury College One Act Play Competition and received a fellowship at the Shenandoah International Playwrights Retreat.  She has also served as Artist-in-Residence at three colleges.  As a middle and high school teacher, Nora participated in many EARC workshops and seminars including an NCTA study tour to Japan.  She has honed her own writing skills through ten years of Write About Asia with Mary Roberts.  More about Nora’s playwriting can be found at

Mary Roberts is a teacher seminar leader for K-12 inservice and pre-service teachers.  She has held a number of educational positions including school district curriculum director, curriculum specialist, elementary librarian, high school English teacher and professional writer for an on-line curriculum service.  Since 1999, she has taught East Asian seminars on history, culture and literature for the East Asia Resource Center.  Additionally she has co-led study tours to East Asia for K-12 teachers through the EARC.  She minored in International Studies at the University of Washington and later became re-engaged with China, Japan and Korea during a three year institute on East Asia from 1988-1990.  She regularly facilitates Write About Asia and seminars on East Asian literature for 3-12 Classrooms.


Sessions were held online from July 13 to August 17.

All participants needed to attend July 13, 2022: Introduction to the 2021 Freeman Award Winners.  Participants then chose one or more of the sessions below.


Teachers received the Freeman Award winner book(s) for the session(s) selected and free WA OSPI clock hours

This program was sponsored by the East Asia Resource Center at the University of Washington, and funded by a Freeman Foundation grant in support of the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA).