On Teen Writers

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This is my last official blog post of the term. And I’ll admit it–I’m taking the easy way out. In a previous post, I shared the Teen Writing Toolbox, a static blog created by myself and two of my classmates. We researched and presented on enabling and encouraging teens to write. We highlighted several types of writing, some workshops that librarians can organize to create spaces for teens to practice and share their writing, some resources for both writing help and for publishing, and some examples of teens and young adults who actually made it big and published a book while they were still young.

So this is my blog post on teen writers.

I’m a big fan of writing in general–I mean, I’m a librarian-in-training, it kinda comes with the territory. But I remember how proud I was of the short stories I wrote in high school, the journals of half-finished stories (that I’ll be honest, I’m glad never hit the web), and the shared excitement when my friend showed me the first chapter of her never-to-be-finished novel. The best-selling writers of tomorrow could be writing their first works today, and their success depends on supportive feedback and positive environments to create in.

I’m a big fan of fanfiction. I’ve written a few fanfics in my day (though, as I said above, they never hit the web), and read thousands upon thousands. My fanfiction.net account was started in 2001, and is still used near-daily. I consider myself an expert in the subject, thank-you-very-much. One of the fandoms that I follow, Anthony Horowitz’s Alex Rider series, is predominantly populated with high school students; many of the fanfics are never finished and an author’s note gets posted saying that they went off to college and no longer had time to write. The books are young-James-Bond-esque spy adventures geared towards 8-12 year olds, and while the intended audience is definitely not teenagers, those who really enjoyed the books as pre-teens kept up with the series and began to publish their works online. While most of the works definitely don’t have the polish that some of the more mature writers in other fandoms have, what they do have is dedicated fans who will post positive feedback. That, to me, seems to be a great part of how fanfiction can cause formative writing–knowing that other people are reading what you’re writing, and liking it.

So this is my sign-off from the YA Materials tag. Have a great break, and I’ll be seeing you in the summer term!!

 

On Teens and Sex and Sexuality

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I really enjoy a good romance novel. Hand me a Harlequin romance novel and I’ll never admit to reading it, but I will, and I will have enjoyed it. That said, when it comes to teens, the topics of sex and sexuality can be difficult to discuss. Often it seems that as a society, we waver between sheltering our teens from things we think they aren’t old enough for and making sure that they know enough to be prepared for what they might do or encounter out in the world.

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A Blog about Teen Writing

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So for class, we had to do a presentation about teen writers and writing. Instead of creating a powerpoint presentation, we copied all of the creative people in the class and created a blog: Teen Writing Toolbox.

I wrote, among other bits, the section on fanfiction. As you might be able to tell, I’m a bit of a fan. Feel free to leave a comment or rec’! (Though it might be easier to leave it on this blog rather than the Teen Writing Toolbox, that one is not expected to be updated now that the presentation is done).

Thoughts on Multiculturalism

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I have never read a story that took place on a Canadian reserve. I also don’t remember ever reading a story that took place in India. There are many places and peoples in the world which, realistically, I know next to nothing about, but nonetheless can say something about, even if that thing is a stereotype that ‘everybody knows’. This is what Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie calls the “single story.” Continue reading

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

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Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian COverI liked the sheer honesty of Alexie’s writing. Arnold Spirit (Junior) is in for a bad year, a year that starts when he decides to switch from his reservation’s high school to the all-white high school in the nearby town, a move that means that he has taken a step towards a future off rez. To the rez, he becomes a traitor. To the white high school, he’s the odd man out.  Continue reading

Ash

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Ash Cover

This was exactly the fairytale I wanted. I had never read Ash before, but after finishing Sabriel, this was the perfect follow-up. Lo’s prose makes the story seem like a dream; unlike other books, it is difficult to predict what might happen next because the entire experience feels like floating on a river, going wherever the current takes you.  Continue reading