Since April 10 is National Encourage a Young Writer Day and many of us have more time at home with our young ones right now, here are some tips from three of our Winters Friends of the Library volunteers to encourage young writers.
1. Read, Read, Read!
Eileen Rendahl, a multi talented author of thrillers, cozy mysteries, chick lit, and urban fantasy also teaches writing at the university level. Eileen was one of the authors who participated in Community Writes and led the workshop about writing with humor.
When asked for a tip to encourage young writers she said,
“I don’t know any writers who aren’t readers so I’m going to say read a lot!
Read everything you can. Read different genres. read fiction and non fiction and start to think about how stories are put together. Then write every day.
The best advice I ever received about writing was to write the book I wanted to read. Well, I like to read a lot of different types of books so I ended up writing a lot of different types.
Eileen Rendahl, Author https://www.eileenrendahl.com/
Read to encourage writing? Absolutely and best of all it’s a tip you can easily use as soon as your young writer is born with our Books to Babies Boxes. The benefits of reading to infants and toddlers can last for a lifetime of learning.
2. Model Writing and Enjoying Writing
What’s the best way to plant a seed of interest for young people for just about any activity? Do it ourselves. Even if you don’t love to write or write professionally there are all kinds of simple ways that you can model enjoyable writing at home with young writers.
Crystal Apilado, former WFoL vice-president, Editor-in-Chief of the Winters Express and mom of 6 suggests:
- Writing letters to friends or family.
- Working on a story together. Her daughters enjoy a writing activity where they each take turns writing a page of a story.
- Writing in journals daily. Like keeping a gratitude journal and each filling it out at the end of the day
When children see a parent enjoy writing, they will mimic the action and try to find their own enjoyment in it.
3. Show Your Interest: Connection not Correction
Lisa Nalbone, long term WFoL volunteer, former teacher, homeschool mom, and author
“Writing is such an expression of ourselves that it is easy to unintentionally discourage a writer which is not what any of us want to do,” says Lisa Nalbone, long term WFoL volunteer, former teacher, homeschool mom, and author.
She offers these suggestions:
Let your facial expression, your tone of voice, and what you say and do reflect your love and support of their written work and interest in writing.
Think about how you would show your adult friend or colleague you are interested in something they care deeply about and created. Would you immediately tell them what they did wrong and how to make it better? No, you would connect with their creativity and encourage their sharing of something personal. Too often when responding to young writers we start with correction instead of connection.
Pay attention to content and what’s being communicated when they are sharing what they have written to you and catch yourself if you start trying to correct their writing! Interest and encouragement need to come first. Save correction, editing, and teaching writing skills for another time designated for skill practice.
Just like any other interest you might support like athletics or music, give budding writers the tools they need and opportunities to interact with other writers – whether that means attending an author talk at your local library, starting or joining a writing club, writing a letter to a favorite author, or attending live or virtual writing workshops and conferences.
We hope these tips help you celebrate National Encourage a Young Writer Day and plant some seeds for the young writers at your home.
Looking for more tips? Take a look at these articles:
National Encourage a Young Writer Day with Kim Steadmanhttps://kimsteadman.com/national-encourage-young-writer-day/