“Reading and writing, like everything else, improve with practice. And, of course, if there are no young readers and writers, there will shortly be no older ones. Literacy will be dead, and democracy – which many believe goes hand in hand with it – will be dead as well.”
– Margaret Atwood
Are some people born with a gift for words; able to take even the most mundane of tasks and re-form them into magical adventures? Perhaps some have a more innate ability to weave a tale, but there is still hope for the rest of us! With a few good resources, even the most inexperienced writer may soon become a budding author.
If you have children interested in becoming authors, or perhaps have children you would like to be enthusiastic about writing, here are a few resources your family might find helpful to the writing process. You’ll find a great mix of everything; websites, books, and more!
10 Great Resources for Budding Authors
- Writing Your Way, Don Fry – Writing Your Way shows you how to create your own unique writing process that magnifies your strengths and avoids your weaknesses. It shows you a multitude of ways to do the five key stages: Idea, Gather, Organize, Draft, and Revise. You can then design your own collection of techniques that work for you. You’ll write clearer, faster, and more powerfully, with less effort and suffering.
- What’s Your Story, Marion Dane Bauer – Discusses how to write fiction, exploring point of view, dialogue, endings, and revision.
- On Writing Well, William Zinsser – Whether you want to write about people or places, science and technology, business, sports, the arts or about yourself in the increasingly popular memoir genre, On Writing Well offers you fundamental principles as well as the insights of a distinguished writer and teacher.
- The Writer’s Way, Jack Ralins and Stephen Metzger– Based on a “whole language approach,” The Writer’s Way is a dynamic, process-centered paperback rhetoric with readings. This text recognizes that students learn best by doing–and writers learn best when inspired by compelling reasons to write, aided by strong examples, and reinforced by immediate personal rewards. With frank advice offered in a supportive, encouraging tone, Rawlins and Metzger lead students step by step through the writing process, from pre-writing to polishing the final draft.
- Dramatica Pro Application – So, what exactly is Dramatica? Dramatica is a whole new theory of Story. Because it wasn’t based on any pre-existing theories, much of what it has to say can sound pretty unfamiliar. Still, the amazing part is that with each new concept you learn, whole new worlds of understanding and skill will open up to you…
- One Year Adventure Novel – Through 78 video lessons, The One Year Adventure Novel high school English curriculum guides 9th–12th graders step by step in creating an original, fully structured, compelling adventure novel—in one school year.
- Young Writers Online – We’re a community of young writers, both new and experienced, dedicated to improving our writing.
- Seven Writing Contests for Kids – “It’s not always easy to get your kids motivated to write. One way to encourage them to polish their writing skills is to have them enter a writing contest. Sometimes just the idea of recognition is enough to get those pencils to paper (or fingers to keyboard).”
- Cash Contests for Kids – “31 reputable, well-reviewed, free writing contests for poets, fiction writers, essayists and more. Some legitimate contests do charge a small entry or “reading” fee, but often a fee can be a red flag for a scam, so you may want to stick to free contests — and there are certainly enough of them.”
- HSLDA – Every year, HSLDA offers quarterly contests in art, poetry, photography, and essay writing, open to all homeschooled students (ages 7–19). Through its contests, HSLDA hopes to offer homeschooled students the opportunity to hone their skills in a fun and creative setting that invites them to think outside the box and be rewarded for excellence.
Nab, bookmark, and peruse a few of the resources above and explore the art of writing. Stock up on paper, pencils, erasers, and/or a computer. Sit yourself down and have some fun. Writing doesn’t have to be hard; just take one word at a time!
“Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘Write all the words which I have spoken to you in a book.”
~ Jeremiah 30:2
Your Turn!: Calling all authors!! Share your story with our homeschooling audience. What led you to becoming an author, what have you learned along the way, and what are you currently working on?