In honor of National Encourage a Young Writer Day on April 10, a day when writing is celebrated and young writers are encouraged to write, a local high school teacher listed a few tips for young aspiring writers.
English teacher at Bradley- Bourbonnais Community High School Steve Benoit said he encourages young writers to keep a journal. He tells his students, “You will have brilliant, fleeting ideas and if you are in the practice of keeping a journal, it becomes an easier task to remember them.”
Benoit said another thing he does to encourage his students is tell them to continue reading. “Writers read and readers write,” he said.
An article on nationaldaycalendar.com gives some other tips on how to encourage a young writer:
Offer writing prompts. These random bits of inspiration can come from the most unlikely sources but often generate unexpected results. Prompts are available all over the web, as well as in books and apps.
Have young writers try multiple writing styles and different voices. Changing perspective will keep their writing fresh, allowing them an opportunity to find their personal style.
Create a young writers group. It’s a good way see their story from the reader’s point of view and to receive feedback from peers.
There are multiple ways to encourage young writers, but why should they be encouraged? Vicki Hinze, in her article about National Encourage a Young Writer day, talks about some of the reasons why it is important to encourage a young writer:
Writing is an adventure. If you love it, odds are good that you always will love it, and if you don’t, you might dabble in it, but you’ll never be driven to do it.
Writing is liberating. If you love it, you’ll love exploring all sides of issues and events. You’ll write through them to decide what you think, doing your best to play fair with both sides and letting the chips fall where they may. You may take refuge in the adventure from your chair and let the journey play out on the page.
Writing is a lifelong passion. If you love it, you’ll never be content not doing it. It’s your way of making sense of the world, of events, of people, and of yourself. You write to it, then write through it.
Most writers write because they have something to say that they want others to hear. Young writers are no different. They have a lot to say, the enthusiasm and passion to say it, and the courage to let fresh ideas and new insights play out on the page.
“I would also say to expose yourself to art in all of its forms,” Benoit said. “Especially while you’re young and museums are free.”
—Kelli Poole, staff writer