Encouraging Young Writers

Saturday, November 29, 2008

As writers, our job is to encourage the younger generation to also write. How can we do this? Many of us are teachers or have children of our own. I encourage my stepson to write in a journal in the summer, write stories, and of course, his own thank you notes and Christmas cards. What are some of your ideas?

I am really proud of my writing group, Saturday Writers (based in St. Peters, MO) and some of our members, who thought to hold an annual third and fourth grade writing contest and teen writing contest. Teens and elementary students can enter their stories for free, and they also attend an awards' ceremony where a published children's author gives them their awards and leads a short workshop for anyone who participated in the contest--winners or not.

A wonderful author, (who also happens to be my friend and a member of the Missouri Writers' Guild with me) Mary-Lane Kamberg, has written a book called The I Love To Write Book: Ideas & Tips for Young Writers. The description of this book is:
"A get-started guide to launch young writers on a journey to writing success . . . at home and in the classroom. An instructional and inspirational guide for young writers, ages 8-14, to help them become successful, confident, and self-motivated writers. Features practical tips, techniques, and exercises ideal for use at home and in the classroom. With many activities, worksheets, and examples for developing ideas, observing the world, writing different types of pieces (such as news articles, book reviews, thank-you letters, how-tos, and more) and best practices for writing poetry and fiction. Also covers the basics of revising work and submitting pieces for publication. While ideal for classroom use, the book focuses on writing for personal satisfaction, community impact, and publication."

Besides an author, Mary-Lane Kamberg is also a director for a summer writing camp in Kansas, so she has the experience to write a book like this. The forward is by John Riddle, who some of you may know from founding the annual "I Love To Write Day." Riddle is another author, who is helping young writers and old writers alike. :)

The moral of this story is. . . since we love the written word, let's share it with the younger generation. They might not love it as much as us or follow us in their career paths. But being able to express yourself through writing is one of the most important skills anyone can learn.

Happy Writing and Sharing!
Margo Dill
Margo Dill's Read These Books and Use Them blog (I do have some writing ideas to go with books on this site.)


Anonymous said...


Thanks for this post and the link to Ms. Kamberg's book for young writers. I'm a writer and a mom and in the last year I started a young writers' group through my library by my son's suggestion.
What a joy and ongoing inspiration to teach these kids the fun and craft of writing.
From the library, I made contacts and now teach a Saturday morning class, as well. My students and I just finished NaNo for the first time - together!
Thanks again for the post and the ongoing information Wow! provides.
Mary Jo Campbell

roboticfinfactory said...

Hi Margo,

I just discovered this blog! It's wonderful. I'm totally subscribing! This is actually the Young Writers Program Director for NaNoWriMo and Script Frenzy.

I hope to see you and your young writers next month during Script Frenzy!

Tavia Stewart

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