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April 10, 2020

National Encourage a Young Writer Day


In honor of National Encourage a Young Writer Day, we reached out to our authors to get their advice for aspiring writers. So whether you have a case of writer’s block or you’re just not sure where to go next, below are some helpful tips to get you on your way to being the best writer you can be.  


One of the best ways to become a writer is simply to read! Reading will spark your own imagination—when inspiration strikes, write down your ideas before they disappear. Don’t worry about having enough time to pen a novel. As a preteen, I started off with short works of poetry, which helped me appreciate the way words interact rhythmically. You’re never too young to create great stories, either; Jake Marcionette wrote his first Just Jake book in 2012 at the age of 12 as part of an annual summer assignment. Although his books are funny, that time he took the project more seriously, and the series became a bestseller! —Rosanne TolinMore than Marmalade  


Write for yourself. Write because you love opening doors to other worlds within your soul, and write because you love using words to paint your feelings. When your writing is fueled by love, youll enjoy the practice no matter who reads the final product, and then youll have the strength to find your readers. —Carrie Callaghan, Salt the Snow  


Write what you are passionate about! You will generate your most creative ideas and do your best work when you write about topics that are most meaningful to you. Write as often as you can and seek opportunities to share your content publicly, whether on a personal blog, in a writing contest, or through general media sites. This will help you to get feedback, improve your writing, and build a strong portfolio and brand. —Kerry McDonald, Unschooled  


To encourage young writers, I offer this bit of wisdom I picked up as an Internet entrepreneur and travel writer and which applied to both the business and the writing:  get as much advice and critique as you can from as many people as will give it, seriously mull it all over, then set it aside and do and write what you feel in your heart is right. —Bill Greer, A Dirty Year  


One of the most common questions I’ve gotten at school visits, book talks, and readings has been, “What advice do you have for young writers?” Here’s my answer:

1. Read a lot. The more you read, the more you learn what good writing looks like. Plus, reading great stories can help you find inspiration for your own.

2.Write as much as you can. Like any skill, writing only gets better through practice.

3. Finish what you start. A lot of writers quit before they finish a project due to frustration, boredom, or enthusiasm for some other idea they come up with. Don’t be like them and get the job done!

4. Let people you know and trust read your story, ask them for honest feedback, and be open to their suggestions for improvement. This can be hard and requires real bravery on your part, but it can really help you find ways to make your story as good as possible.

5. Revise. A lot of young (and old) writers hate writing more than one draft, but doing it makes a big difference in the quality of the final story. I personally always go through at least three drafts before I send a piece of writing to my agent or an editor.

6. Once you’re satisfied with the story (and understanding that it will never be completely perfect), share it with other people. The world needs as many stories as possible, yours just as much as anyone else’s!

Now, I know that may sound like an awful lot of workand it can bebut it can also be a lot of fun and itdefinitely doable. Dont believe me? Well, Ive had the pleasure of getting to know a pair of fifth graders who spent a year working on a story together. They did everything listed above, and now their story is published on Amazon for anyone in the world to enjoy! (You can read a full account of their story here.) And if they can do it, so can you. —Jon EtterA Dreadful Fairy Book and Another Dreadful Fairy Book 


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