1st Drafts

Info for Young Writers?

Seventy degrees and sunny is my favorite type of weather—and the winter seemed very long—so I can’t resist going outside everyday while this fabulous weather lasts. Mowing on Saturday, badminton with Jill on Sunday, tennis with Sav and Vicki on Monday… this is the good life.

On the downside, I’m much too distracted to get any work done! So today’s topic is more like a call for help. I did add some new info to the Kids and Teens pages, but I would like a bit more. If you know any good writing resources for kids or teens, please leave me a comment!

Check out the pages to see what I have so far. I’m looking for writing contests, websites, and magazines for young writers. It’s been very time-consuming for me to wade through the Internet and find decent websites. I’d love some firsthand suggestions, resources you’ve tried and enjoyed. 

What other resources am I forgetting? I considered guidebooks for young writers (I saw some on Amazon); but I haven’t actually read them, so I hesitate to recommend the unknown. Anyone have recs? What about conferences for young writers—should I research those? I’m open to all ideas! Kids and teens, let me know what would help you. Parents and teachers, I’d love your input. 

I hope to finish updating the website this week so I can start on my second draft next week. If you have questions, suggestions, or topic ideas, let me know this week!

In book news, today is the release date of THE LAST OLYMPIAN by Rick Riordan! It’s the fifth and final book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, and I’ve been looking forward to it for months! I’m scheming for the best way to get it as soon as possible. If you haven’t read Riordan before, start with THE LIGHTNING THIEF (which releases as a movie next February!); appropriate for ages 9 and up.

The outdoors call to me. I’ll return to work on a rainy day.


4 thoughts on “Info for Young Writers?

  1. Hope you are enjoying the sunshine. Have you ever done any work or writing with the 4-square method? Judith Gould is the author I have seen present. Might be appropriate for some of the things you do with your website….

  2. I had to Google the 4-square method because I wasn’t familiar with it. It seems to be an effective way of teaching students to write essays (we wrote 5-paragraph essays in grade school, but I don’t remember using the 4-square method to do so). However, I think it might be a little dry and technical for longer fiction. Formulas can be used for fiction, but kids can learn all that and more if they read lots of books. I’d prefer young writers to just write for fun at this point; they can worry about formulas when they’re old like me. 🙂

    Thanks for the comment!!

  3. True that 4 square is very much a formula. I do use the narrative one for analyzing stories after we’ve read them. It sometimes helps kids to see the plan. You are better at creativity. That is not my strength. I like rules too much… I will try to allow more writing with less rules.

    • Actually, I don’t think I saw an example of the narrative 4-square, so I might be completely wrong in my opinion. The example I saw was for writing essays, and I’m biased because I hated writing 5-paragraph essays in school (so boring!). I think formulas can be a necessary starting point for kids learning the basics and theories. The downside of using formulas is that you risk losing your students to boredom or misunderstandings. If writing can be creative instead of structured, they’re more likely to enjoy it and keep doing it. But I’m not a teacher, so I don’t know all the benefits of formulas. I just know that as I grew older, I ended up throwing out some of the rules of 5-paragraph essays. The great thing about poetic license and fiction is that you can write a one-word paragraph if you want to! Sorry, I don’t want to make your job any harder than it already is, ha! Thanks for your comments–I love to discuss writing, as you might have guessed… 😉

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