Hi guys and welcome to the next episode of
The Forge. The whole point of the series is to help young people develop their skills
and voice as a writer. Remember, the whole point of writing is it’s supposed to be
fun, it’s supposed to be liberating and without barriers unless you put them there
yourself. In this episode – I’m going to discuss
how young writers can be encouraged to write and to have a dream of, one day, becoming
an author. Firstly, if you haven’t done so already,
please go down there and click on the subscribe icon and the bell icon to make sure that you
don’t miss out on any future content I put out. And before you leave, please click the
like button as well and share this video around. Now, enough of all that. Let’s get started. Just down in the description box below, I
have added a link to the creative writing blog on my website.
A month or so ago, I asked young writers between 16 and 25 who followed me across one of my
social media platforms. Either Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Linked In. I asked them if they
would like to appear in my Type Cast young writers’ blog. One of the questions I asked in the interview
questionnaire to the young authors was whether they felt there were any challenges being
a young author and to elaborate on what those challenges were.
When I started to compile the blogs, I noticed that every young writer felt that it was a
challenge to even get noticed. In my experience, when I was 21, I felt exactly
the same. Whether it be as a playwright or a fiction author, I found that being a young
writer meant having to feel you had to ‘earn your stripes’ and almost beg for any opportunities
that may arise. If there were to be one piece of advice that
I, and the other Type Cast writers could offer you, it would be to write. Come up with an
idea, plan it and then sit down and write it. If you can write as much as time allows,
and find joy in it, you will be on the right track as a young writer. Tip number one is to read well. In a world
of Fortnite and competitive esports, young people may not consider reading to be exciting
but, if you want to write and write well, reading is key.
As a classroom teacher, I always told my class to read firstly for enjoyment. Those who were
reluctant readers, if they were able to find books that they enjoyed reading, it would
make the entire reading process that bit more enjoyable.
Secondly, you should consider reading as widely as possible. This will introduce you to a
whole range of not only authors, but genres, characters and settings you may never have
thought of reading before. Authors like Roald Dahl and JK Rowling are
so highly thought of because they are Masters of Children’s Literature. Learn from them
if you can! So, here is your exercise. Why not rewrite
a scene from the book you are currently reading? What if the farmers had won in Fantastic Mr
Fox? Could Harry Potter have been different if Harry was in a different house? Why not
explore those ideas and see if you can have some fun? Tip number two is one I like to call Story
Swap. Many authors consider joining writers’ workshops as a way of engaging with fellow
authors and to get feedback on their work. This may also be an option for you if you
feel confident enough or if there are local workshops focused on young writers.
On the other hand, if this is not an option, consider swapping stories with friends who
also write or those who have a real interest in reading. This may be a very simple way
of getting feedback on your story and also give you the enjoyment of others reading work
that you have written. And, again, here’s your exercise. Think
about your group of friends and consider you could set up your own little writing community.
It doesn’t have to be fancy. It can simply be meeting up with friends to share stories
that you have written at each other’s houses or the local café. The main thing is that
you are writing and sharing your stories with others. If you can get constructive feedback,
then all the better! Tip number three is one that you really should
consider if you are a very confident writer – Competitions.
Online, there are many competitions for young people to enter and possibly even get your
work published. In the description box below, I have included some website links to websites
that host writing competitions for young people. Read the descriptions, consider whether it’s
for you and back yourself to win it! And, finally, here’s your exercise. Even
if you’re not considering entering competitions right now, look up the competitions in the
description down below. There are guidelines that are published, and those are key. Why
not practice writing to the briefs outlined for every competition. This will give you
practice and also focus your attention and creativity to match exactly what the competition,
and the publishers, are looking for. Thank you so much for watching this episode
of The Forge, where we considered how young writers can be encouraged to write. The whole
point of this series is to get young writers to develop their skills and their voices as
a writer. Writing is supposed to be fun, guys, so remember that. Make sure it’s liberating
and without barriers unless you put them there yourself.
If you’ve enjoyed watching this episode, please consider subscribing if you haven’t
done so already and the bell icon and thumbs up to give the video a like.
If you have any ideas for future episodes, please email me at [email protected] and
suggest ideas, I’d love to hear them. Again, thank you so much for watching and
giving up you’re time. I’ll see you again soon.