April 10th is National Encourage a Young Writer Day – a day we wholeheartedly support here at The Writer. Looking for ways to support a budding author in your own life? Here are some easy ideas:
Read their work – and encourage them to write more.
The simplest but most profound impact you can have on a young writer is to encourage their talent. If they ask you to read their work, do so with pride and pleasure. If they want suggestions, provide it, but always keep the tone upbeat and positive.
That said, never pressure a young writer to share their work. If they want you to read what they wrote, great! If not, it’s critical to ensure the page is a safe space where they can express themselves in private.
Show that you treat writing aspirations seriously.
Give shiny blank journals at Christmastime, paired with a set of new pens. Give them books about writers or writing. Look for young writers’ conferences or classes in your region. Not all investments have to be monetary, either: Searching for books of writing prompts at the library or scouring the internet for free writing workshops show a young writer that you believe their passion is worth an investment of time and effort on your part.
Grant them access to young writers like themselves.
Journals for kids, tweens, and teens abound. For example, look at Stone Soup for child writers, or One Teen Story, which is run by the same people behind One Story. You can find more publications in this article on journals for young writers.
Grant access to professional writers, too.
Is a new writer coming to town for a book signing or event? If age appropriate, consider reading the author’s books before attending the event. You can also encourage budding writers to write their favorite author an email or letter.
Start a group for young writers in your community.
If nothing exists to support budding authors in your town, you may have to roll up your sleeves and start one yourself. Encourage young writers to share their work with others and provide (gentle, kind, constructive) feedback in a welcoming setting. And who knows? It may spark some inspiration for your own writing projects.