by Maureen L. Bonatch
November is a time most reflect upon what they’re thankful for. One of things I’m thankful for is the teachers who encourage our young writers.
Recently at a routine appointment for my teen twins, the doctor asked my one of my girls, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
I held my breath for her response…
“A writer,” she said.
Part of me rallied in celebration while another part trembled in an ingrained, underlying fear...
Back in the day, when I was of the age to ponder the same question, I was under the impression there were three options for a woman if you weren’t staying home with the young ins’.
A nurse, a secretary or a teacher.
Fast forward to today, I’ve been all of them and none of them were what I wanted to be, which was…a writer.
But I wouldn’t dare to say the word aloud because I didn’t think it was an option. The few times I gathered the courage to submit something to a teacher weren’t met with the positive encouragement a young writer requires to build their fragile self-esteem.
Thankfully, in this day and age, the opportunities and encouragement is more abundant for young writers to test the waters out in writing.
Because it’s no longer just a fantasy… it’s a possibility.
I’ve been quick to tell my gals that at thirteen they're already writers as they pen their Percy Jackson Fan fiction on Wattpad and have had an essay published in Teen Ink (courtesy the encouragement to submit by one of their teachers).
Oh and my girls favorite genre to read and write? You guessed it; Fantasy and Paranormal… must be genetic.
A little information about a few opportunities for young writers:
NationalNovel Writing Month
happens every November! It's a fun, seat-of-your-pants writing event where the
challenge is to complete an entire novel in just 30 days. For one month, you
get to lock away your inner editor, let your imagination take over, and just
means participants begin writing November 1 and must finish by midnight,
November 30. The word-count goal for our adult program
is 50,000 words, but the Young Writers Program (YWP) allows 17-and-under
participants to set reasonable, yet challenging, individual word-count goals.In 2013,
over 300,000 adults participated through our main site, and nearly 90,000 young
writers participated through the YWP.
Click here to see how educators can Help bring NaNoWri to the schools and our young writers.
Wattpad is a writing community in which users are able to post articles, stories, fan fiction, and poems about anything either online or through the Wattpad app. The content includes work by undiscovered and published writers. Users are able to comment and like stories or join groups associated with the website. Around half of the users are U.S. based; most users also come from the U.K., Canada, the Philippines, Australia, United Arab Emirates and more.
Teen Ink, is a national teen magazine, book series, and website devoted entirely to teenage writing, art, photos, and forums. For over 25 years, Teen Ink has offered teens the opportunity to publish their creative work and opinions on issues that affect their lives – everything from love and family to school, current events, and self-esteem. Hundreds of thousands of students, aged 13 -19, have submitted their work to us and we have published more than 55,000 teens since 1989.
Distributed through classrooms by English and Art teachers, and available in libraries nationwide, Teen Ink magazine offers some of the most thoughtful and creative work generated by teens today. We have no staff writers or artists; we depend completely on submissions from teenagers around the world for our content. Teen Ink has the largest distribution of any publication of its kind.
So tell me, what are you thankful for this November?