Encouraging teen writers to develop their voice and work on writing can be a rewarding part of a librarian’s work. In my school library, I’ve worked with teens not just on writing for their school assignments, but deeply personal creative projects too. It can be a challenge, though, to give teen writers all they need to flourish and hone their craft. If you are looking to support teen writers in your library or start a creative writing program, here are some resources that could help.
Publishing opportunities and contests
Teen Ink — Teen Ink, a quintessential publication for teen writing, allows students to submit work for publication online or in the monthly print magazine. It allows submissions of articles, art, photography, novels and videos.
Scholastic Art and Writing Award — This annual award allows writers and artists in grades 7 through 12 to compete in 29 different categories from journalism to sculpture.
Merlyn’s Pen — A long-standing publication that accepts fiction, poetry and essays from teens.
Young Adult Review Network — This online publication accepts submissions of YA fiction written by writers of all ages.
Canvas Literary Journal — Canvas is a quarterly publication edited by teens, accepting a wide range of student creative and artistic work.
Claremont Review — An international writing journal for young writers in the English-speaking world.
Polyphony HS — Polyphony HS is a student-run publication that allows high-school writers from all over the world to share their work.
Wattpad — This extensive online writing community deserves a blog post of its own. It allows writers of all ages (including published authors like Margaret Atwood!) to read and comment on the works of others while publishing their own.
Figment — A teen-focused writing community.
Deviant Art — Teen graphic novelists can share their work via Deviant Art.
Go Teen Writers — This rich blog and writing community offers many practical writing articles and resources in addition to connecting young writers to readers via a Facebook group.
Where Teens Write — This teen writing community also provides online writing classes and writing exercises to help writers grow.
Books for inspiration and technique
Writer to writer: from Think to Ink by Gail Carson Levine — Levine offers advice to young writers, giving practical suggestions for writing fiction and poetry.
Spilling Ink: A Young Writer’s Handbook by Anne Mazer and Ellen Potter — Mazer and Potter share their experience with writing topics from writing beginnings and endings to overcoming writer’s block. “I dare you” exercises helps young writers practice what they learned.
This Is Not a Writing Manual by Kerri Majors — In this series of personal essays, Majors gives a first-hand look into the life of a young writer, talking about challenges from finding an agent to dealing with rejection.
On Writing by Stephen King — King’s memoir provides valuable insight into the writing life while also giving an inside view of the writer’s life.
The Writing Life by Annie Dillard — Dillard’s passionate and eloquent writing imparts deep wisdom about the writer’s life sure to inspire teens who stick with the book.