Mary Ellen Giacobbe once said, “Focus on the writer and the writing will come.” This truth guides all of my writing conferences with students. In kindergarten I work hard to help children view themselves as writers. As they begin to grow as writers I use the writing conference as a chance to build relationships with each student. When you focus on the writer, showing them that they matter and that what they have to share is important, they feel valued and safe to take necessary risks as writers. The mechanics of writing, conventions, and craft will follow. Relationships and communication are at the heart of writing workshop and are vital work at the start of a new year. Once that rapport is there and a community of growing writers is formed, the possibilities are endless.