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!!

 

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