Today, I want to share two important resources for young writers who want to take their writing to the next level. Both include a writing community and have personally helped me with motivation and developing determination to make writing more than just a hobby. There are lots of writing resources out there, but these are two of the most comprehensive overall and most geared towards teen and young adult writers.
Focus: Accountability and Community
Registration Opens: Now!
Many of you are probably familiar with this website already, but if you are, you will probably agree that Nanowrimo is extremely useful. National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a free, online program that provides enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline for writers. The Nanowrimo website is extremely easy and fun to use, and the community is beyond supportive and encourages creativity. The official month is November, but the program also runs during February, April, and July.
During Nanowrimo, writers can create a variety of projects: novel drafts, revision, poetry, scripts, short stories, and most anything else. Then the month is spent attempt to finish in a single month. You report in each day with your word/line/chapter count, but you can also challenge other writers to word wars (seeing who can write the most in 5-15 minutes) or browse the forums. Nanowrimo offers a lot of accountability but also fun; I have never written so much so fast than when I am doing Nanowrimo.
The best part for young writers is that there is a site specifically geared towards you! The Young Writers Program is very similar to the normal version, but you will be in a community of your peers. Also there are writing resources, tips, and links that are specific for problems that young writers encounter.
However, during the summer, in April and July, the normal Nanowrimo sites are not running. Rather, they have Camp Nanowrimo. Camp Nanowrimo is actually my favorite because beyond the normal features of Nanowrimo, you are organized into online “cabins” of up to 12 other writers. You have a chat box and cabin goals as well as personal goals. The community is smaller, but it is really fun to get to know a few other writers well rather than chat with a lot of writers and not really hang out with them much.
So if you are looking for motivation, accountability, and community, I would highly recommend you to join Camp Nanowrimo next month.
Cost: $30 a month
Focus: Mentoring, Teaching Writing Skills, and Imparting Publishing Knowledge
Registration Opens: June 27th – July 1st
If you are looking for more than just inspiration and accountability, I’d suggest the Young Writer’s Workshop. This is a relative new program start by Brett Harris (coauthor of Do Hard Things and founder of the Rebelution) and Jaquelle Crowe (author of This Changes Everything) who were both traditionally published as teenagers. Brett and Jaquelle want to help young authors (10-25 years old) anywhere in their writing journey: whether it is teaching how to turn a dream into a book or critiquing book proposals and guiding through traditional publishing. Though the Young Writer’s Workshop (YWW) has only existed for a couple months, it has already attracted the attention of major publishers including Crossway and Zondervan and has interviewed several authors such as Jaye L. Knight, Rachel Coker, C.R. Hedgcock, and David Qaoud.
Though YWW offers a lot for new teen writers, I think it can be the most useful for young writers seriously seeking to change the world with their writing. They have a lot of information and resources on traditional and self publishing for both fiction and non-fiction and great, unique advice on building a writing platform. Beyond publishing and platform, YWW offers help on consistency, motivation, writing habits, content, strategy, mentorship, learning, community, and family support. Also members get to interact personally with Brett and Jaquelle, and I can personally attest to how willing they are to answer any and all questions you have.
Finally, YWW includes a fantastic writing community for young writers that lasts longer than just a month. However, if you are just looking for a great writing community, I’d suggest saving money and doing Camp Nanowrimo, but if you are looking for practical advice, writing critiques, and long term guidance for your writing journey, I would highly suggest joining the Young Writer’s Workshop.
These are two writing resources that been extremely helpful in my own, personal writing journey.
Next month, I plan to use Camp Nanowrimo to help track my progress editing my novel, Out of the Curse. My username is dryadwriter, and I have not joined a cabin yet. So if any of you still have room in your cabins and want another camper, let me know! Or if you want to connect with me or word war over there, I’d love to hear from you!
Over the past six months or so, the Young Writer’s Workshop has helped me identify my weak areas as a writer (did I mention that they have an awesome tool for that called “Writer’s Score”?), and I now feel much more comfortable and prepared to pursue traditional publishing this fall. Also Brett and Jaquelle pointed out that I forgot several very important elements and opportunities in my writer’s platform. So if you want to dedicate yourself to being a writer, I’d highly suggest jumping on the opportunity as soon as registration opens; registration only opens every 6 months to a year, so you don’t want to miss it!
Have you ever been a part of these communities? And as a writer, what type of resource do you most want or find most helpful?