Paying it Forward

 

Image: OPL Teen Space

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how lucky I’ve been to have had some really incredible teachers, over the years. Their encouragement and enthusiasm and knowledge and example was invaluable to me as a young writer, and has continued to be invaluable. More and more, I realize that, while I may never be able to repay them for all the time and attention and faith they’ve given me, I can do my best to pay it forward.

For the past five summers, I’ve had the privilege of teaching at a workshop for high schoolers, and the students I’ve met there are intelligent, enthusiastic, eager to learn, and excited to be part of a writing community.

Do you know any young people who love to write? Below are some great opportunities to let them know about!

  • The Academy of American Poets website has some great resources for teens.
  • There are several really fantastic writing programs for teens, such as the Reynolds Young Writers Workshop at Denison University, and the Young Writers Workshop at Kenyon college.
  • New Pages’ Young Authors Guide has a comprehensive list of literary magazines that have contests and submission opportunities for children, teens, and young adults.
  • The Scholastic Arts Awards has several great opportunities for young artists to submit creative work.
  • Remember the beloved children’s poet/illustrator Shel Silverstein? Last year, Every Thing On It, a collection of previously unpublished poems and illustrations, was published posthumously by Silverstein’s family. This article has the scoop, as well as a touching audio recording of kids reading the poems in the collection.

Happy reading, writing, teaching, and learning!

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