Tag Archives: youth

Advice for Young Writers

Holed up in the Ozarks for Thanksgiving this week, I had occasion to meet a new step-niece from my brother’s recent marriage. She is engaging, geeky, obsessed with the Potterverse, and drawn to but nervous about writing. From the other side of my mother’s house, I could hear a whispered conversation between my sister-in-law and the young writer: Show him your story. No, no, I can’t. Come on, he can give you pointers. He’ll laugh at me, she said, the common worry of all writers who haven’t reached a minimum threshold of confidence in their craft. Then her mother’s reassurance, and a grudging, I’ll let him look at it tomorrow, from the girl.

Fifteen minutes before they left to go home after the holiday, her mother brought in her notebook computer to my room, and quietly asked if I’d read it. It was the kind of exchange more often reserved for clandestine deals in an urban alley. I squinted at the tiny screen and scrolled through the prose in a few minutes. Read More…

A Writer’s Mission

wooden lettersThose of us who’ve spent time honing our language use and craft have inevitably stumbled across the occasional comment or question about whether we could donate our skills to writing something for them or someone they know. A newsletter needs one last article, or someone read a call for essays on fishing, or have we ever thought about ghostwriting, because it seems like there’s always work for ghostwriters. (Hint: ask an actual ghostwriter and one may receive a different impression.) It’s as if any writer can write about any subject, in any form, and within any genre. We practically poop letters.

Gratefully, it does not work that way. Read More…

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