Category Archives: Young Writers – Tips

A Poem’s Delight, A Poem’s Wisdom

Here’s a really short bit of advice about writing poetry . . . that holds a lot inside its tiny sentence. A poem begins in delight and ends in wisdom. – Robert Frost Robert Frost (1874–1963) was one of our most famous American poets. He lived in New England, and was famous for simple but […]

Need Ideas for Stories? Here’s Brainstorming Help!

This is a link to a wonderful set of tips on brainstorming a story idea. They are from Jane Yolen (and Scholastic Books). Yolen is an amazing author, having published over 300 books! You probably have read some of her books — the Young Merlin trilogy, or the Pit Dragon trilogy, or stand-alones like The […]

Let Others Read Your Writing (for Feedback)

Let other read your work. As a famous person (good ol’ Ben Franklin) once said: What’s the use of a sundial in the shade? (Think about that for a minute.) It means if you have talents, don’t hide them away. Get them out in the sunlight! As a writer, this means letting a few other […]

Close the Door and Write!

Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer. – Barbara Kingsolver Kingsolver is an American novelist, whose novels (The Bean Trees, Animal […]

Situation or Story? Ask Dr. Seuss.

What’s the difference between an idea (or a situation) and a story. For the answer, let’s turn to one of my favorite authors: Dr. Seuss! He knew how to take ridiculous situations . . . . . . like a moose with great antlers that allows a bug, then a spider, then a bird, a […]

Idea or Story? (Five Great Questions to Ask Your Story)

Idea or Story? Guest Post by Bruce Black (This piece comes directly from Bruce’s great Wordswimmer Blog, March 1, 2009, reprinted here by permission.) How many times have you thought of a great idea, only to discover that the idea just doesn’t translate into a story? That’s because an idea isn’t the same as a […]

Does a Poem Need to Make Sense?

Does poetry need to make sense? Maybe, but not always to every reader. As a great American poet said, don’t worry about what a reader understands. A poem is an experience, and it starts with you and the magic of words. “Never worry about . . . what the reader can understand. . . . […]

More Poetry Tips (Imaginary Gardens, Real Toads)

Wondering how to write a poem about spring? (Hey, did you know we’re sponsoring a spring poem contest for young writers, ages 8 to 14?) Here are some poetry writing tips: “Imaginary gardens with real toads in them. – Marianne Moore I love this simple bit of advice from an American poet! Your poem is […]

Forget the Title: A Tip for Writing Poems

Here’s a great tip for writing a poem. It comes from a great American poet, Richard Hugo, who passed away in 1982, but not before writing a good book on writing poetry, The Triggering Town. In the first chapter, he tries to explain why a good poem often ends up in a different place than […]

Skipping Stones, a Great Multicultural Magazine

Interview with Arun Toké Founder and Executive Editor Skipping Stones Magazine Skipping Stones is an award-winning magazine that comes out every two months, five times during the school year. It publishes work by writers of all ages. In a typical issue, you’ll find stories, articles, and photos from all over the world, including pieces in […]

How Do You Start a Story?

So . . . how do you start a story? Here’s great advice from a skilled novelist, John Dufresne, a Florida writer, university teacher in Miami, and author of a book about writing stories, The Lie that Tells a Truth. Here’s what he says in that book: Don’t [start] the story too early, when the […]