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Where Teens Write is closing its doors as a teen writing community, but the “how to write” blog posts will be up for another few weeks.
 
I’m happy to announce that you can post your stories and get feedback over at Teen Author’s Journal. Like WTW, it’s a smaller community where you can build relationships with others and hone your writing skills.
 
It’s been a great few years with all of you, but it’s time to close the doors to this community. If you did post stories here that you didn’t save anywhere else, and you’d like them, you may contact me using the contact page, and I’ll get you your story. Thank you for participating.
 
All the best,
Amy
 

Inspiration

It's been a long while since I've posted on the blog. I took a break for family reasons and also to find my writing mojo again. I know this site is all about encouraging you to write, but sometimes, taking a break and playing is what we need to re-ignite our creativity. Have you ever [...]

Every now and again on this blog, I feel pulled to venture into inspirational waters (perhaps even philosophical) and today is one of those days. Why? Because the whole idea of "worry," mostly about what others think, has come up several times in conversations with friends and family members, and to be honest, this past [...]

  This past week, I was re-reading some of Carol Dweck's book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. It's a fascinating look at how our mindset, or how we perceive ourselves, impacts our achievement. Basically, she argues that there are two mindsets: a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. If you believe that you can [...]

An Invite to Write

Years ago, a dear friend shared some wisdom which is the inspiration for this prompt. I'd been griping about somebody being a flake, somebody who'd flaked on me over...and over...and over. But I had failed to learn and felt perfectly justified in my complaining. My wise friend said, "The first time someone tells you who [...]

Lookin’ Back and (Happily) Lookin’ Ahead

Woah - 2015 is coming to an end, in just a few short hours. And I think I'm glad to be putting this year behind me and looking ahead! It's been a rough one, perhaps the roughest since I was sixteen and my parents divorced, I got braces (on my 16th birthday because my mom [...]

Following Your Curiosity to a Story

As some of you know, I've been spending up to ten hours a week in the car, driving between my home and teaching job and the hospital where my husband is. It's a long 320 mile drive through the Nevada desert, but the benefit is that I've been listening to all kinds of podcasts and [...]

Writing (or not) in Crisis

I haven't posted on this blog in several weeks because, as some of you know, my life has gone all upside down with my husband's health crisis. Since the end of August, we've spent forty five days in the ICU as he's undergone twenty two surgeries. I've learned that writing fiction, blog posts, and even [...]

There's a myth to long lazy summer days. Because I teach, the school year brings busy-ness and obligations, so I always look forward to summer as a time to write and get caught up. But not this summer. This summer has been filled with unexpected trips, family medical emergencies, and distractions that have pulled me [...]

This past spring, I went to two education conferences where speakers discussed the neuroscience of learning, and they both talked about how our brains are unable to multitask. Doing two things at the same time dramatically impacts our performance. I asked both presenters specifically if students should listen to music while writing, and both gave [...]

My family always goes camping over the 4th of July weekend. The further away from humanity we can get, the better. But usually, we still have some access to the world. Not this weekend. After driving over fifty miles on a dirt road into a remote western mountain range, we were completely cut off from [...]

I’m not sure why writing, one of the things I love the most, is the first to go when life gets crazy busy, but it is. It’s a problem when life gets to be so much that one of the things that helps you get through the craziness is the first to go. As summer [...]

School is all about rote memory, conformity, and following the rules. But when we’re immersed in a world of testing and non-creativity, how do we develop some of our creative skills? We work at it. In fact, creativity is more about working really hard and dedicating ourselves to some sort of creative pursuits than waiting [...]

Coming up with great "story worthy" ideas can be tough. In fact, it can stop people from writing at all. When I tell people that I write, they often tell me that they'd love to write but they don't know what to write about. I also have more conferences on "what to write about" than [...]

Have you ever struggled to come up with ideas that you could develop into a short story? It can be tough. I actually find developing ideas for novels somewhat easier than ideas for a short story. A story needs to do all the things a novel does: develop characters, have a clear conflict, a plot, [...]

Poetry Tips from a Professional Poet

Every year at the end of January, my hometown hosts a huge, national poetry festival, the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. Our small community is inundated with poets, song writers, cowboys, ranchers, and journalists for an entire week, and there are venues all over town where you can sit in and watch people recite and perform their [...]

Writing Prompts Can Boost Your Creativity

Have you ever stared at a blank piece of paper or a blank screen? The cursor flashes, waiting for you to put your fingers to the keyboard and begin writing…something…anything…but NOTHING is coming to you. You feel “idea-less.” It’s a terrible feeling, and if you write, I think I can say, with almost 100% certainty, [...]

How to Find Original Story Ideas

A few weeks ago I had a student, a teen writer, ask me where I get my story ideas. She had been staring at a blank computer screen for quite some time and was feeling frustrated that she couldn’t come up with any “good” ideas. I thought about her question for a bit before giving [...]

The roundabout way I got my agent

November is the month of gratitude and while this is already December, I found quite a bit to be grateful for in November. In a nutshell, a literary agent offered me representation…happy dance! This is the latest step in a long journey toward reaching a dream to become a published writer. I’ve always enjoyed reading [...]

Fist pump… it’s Thanksgiving here is the US, a truly great day! There’s the turkey, yummy food, family, and best of all, gratitude. We have a whole day devoted to saying, “Hey, thanks for great stuff in my life.” That’s pretty cool. Some of the BEST parts of my life revolve around reading and writing, [...]

WTW survey results

Last summer, WhereTeensWrite ran a survey focused on the writing community and what the teen members would like to see here on WTW. I've been meaning to write this post to summarize the results for a while, but...I kept forgetting. I know, lame excuse, but it's the truth. If you're a teen writer, I think [...]

Some Writerly Inspiration

Quotes about writing inspire me, and this week I'm on vacation - getting inspired hiking around Yosemite in California with my niece and nephew, so I thought I'd share some of my favorites. I've posted quite a few of these writing quotes on the WTW Facebook page, but I thought for this week, I'd collect [...]

There's nothing quite like finishing a story, actually typing "The End" when you pound out that last, sweat soaked word. You either want to lay your head on your keyboard and cry, or fling yourself out of your chair and do your weird happy dance (the one that you hope nobody but your cat ever [...]

Hate poetry? Try these

As little kids, we almost universally like poetry. Think about it. What were some of your favorite stories? I'm willing to bet some of them were narrative poems. Kids love the rhyme and rhythm in these stories. Then, we get to school and something terrible happens. Poetry becomes this really confusing stuff that doesn't make [...]

Becoming Creative

They say that every story has been told. As writers, then, we must somehow figure out how to make our stories original and unique. We must push the boundaries of the expected and come up with creative details, characters, phrasing, and plots. This can be scary...but it can also be fun. It's the part of [...]

Work on Your Writing Strengths

As a writing teacher, I spend a lot of time helping students improve. Because of this focus, teens tend to want to know what they've done "wrong," or their weaknesses. I'm going to posit that this is the wrong approach. Instead, writers, especially teen writers, should focus on improving their strengths. “Everybody has talent, it’s [...]

Why do you write?

Last week I was talking to a friend who works with all kinds of writers. She started listing all the reasons people write: to tell their family history, to tell stories, to answer their "call" to write, to relax, to make a living, to get published, to get a grade (if you're in school), to [...]

How should you set yearly writing goals?

This is that time of year when everyone talks about what they've accomplished and what they want to accomplish. I'll be honest, to me the whole New Year's Resolution thing can get a little annoying. Not that there's anything wrong with setting goals for the year or reflecting on the prior year, but its that [...]

The Anatomy of a 2013 YA Bestseller

Have you ever dreamed of writing a novel that everyone has read or seeing your name appear on the New York Times Bestseller list? In 2013, thirty-seven authors of Young Adult fiction made that dream a reality. How did they do it? Well, they wrote amazing stories. But I was curious if there were any strong [...]

Last weekend, I was listening to a podcast about querying agents. One of the questions the agent addressed was whether or not writers should include their age in their query. I thought it was an odd question as I don't think age matters. She explained that only older (over seventy) or younger teen writers ever [...]

Trading Places Writing Practice

When I write, I go to one of three favorite places: my corner desk, my comfy chair, or the red napping couch. I don't nap, but it's super comfy and a great place to write. I feel inspired in these places, and when I sit down in them, for some reason writing seems easier. Except [...]

Meeting the World’s Strongest Librarian

Have you ever had the opportunity to meet a published author? Or to listen to one speak? If so, congratulations. If not, I highly recommend it for any of you aspiring authors. I can almost guarantee that you will leave an author's talk inspired to write. Authors speak about their writing process, their publishing process, [...]

Meeting the World's Strongest Librarian

Have you ever had the opportunity to meet a published author? Or to listen to one speak? If so, congratulations. If not, I highly recommend it for any of you aspiring authors. I can almost guarantee that you will leave an author's talk inspired to write. Authors speak about their writing process, their publishing process, [...]

Why Poetry?

Since school started, I've been reading a poem a day to my Creative Writing students, and since I've been searching for great poems to read, I've been reading even more poetry than that. I've never read poetry quite so consistently before, and to my surprise, I've discovered I enjoy it. Billy Collins, Gwendolyn Brooks, Marge [...]

Isabel Allende’s Advice

Isabel Allende is one of my favorite authors. I started reading her work when I was in high school, many years ago. Her writing is lyrical. In this brief video, she gives a great piece of advice if you want to be a writer.

Isabel Allende's Advice

Isabel Allende is one of my favorite authors. I started reading her work when I was in high school, many years ago. Her writing is lyrical. In this brief video, she gives a great piece of advice if you want to be a writer.

Finding YOUR Story

Have you, by any chance, read any novels lately that have a vampire or a werewolf in them? You have?!? Actually, I'm not shocked because it seems that ideas come in waves and writers tend to follow trends. Now, the market is glutted with vampire stories, and I know I, for one, am tired of [...]

Epic Adventures and Writing

One of the highlights of this summer was a trip to San Francisco where we decided to have an adventure. We rented a tandem bicycle and rode it from Fisherman's Wharf to the Golden Gate Bridge. This might not sound like an adventure, much less an epic adventure, but it was. Let me explain: We [...]

This is an interesting look at language. I'd have to say I agree, and yes, I know I'm an English teacher! What do you think? Does language's beauty successfully supersede correctness?

What’s your writing routine?

Ah summertime . . . no school . . . we have all the time in the world to write. Right? Maybe? How many of you start the summer with big writing plans but then get sidetracked with . . . whatever it is you manage to get busy with besides writing? Maybe it’s watching [...]

What's your writing routine?

Ah summertime . . . no school . . . we have all the time in the world to write. Right? Maybe? How many of you start the summer with big writing plans but then get sidetracked with . . . whatever it is you manage to get busy with besides writing? Maybe it’s watching [...]

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