As a former editor of My Little Magazine, a publication (years back) for young writers, I still hear from students and teachers wondering what magazines or e-zines are out there to help them, and what conferences or other events are available to young writers. My top answer for this year is the summer 2015 Young Writers’ Program through the Loft Literary Center (www.loft.org).
Why this one? For a lot of reasons. One, the very affordable program hosts classes for students ages six to seventeen, so there’s something for every young writer no matter where their talents and skills lie. Having given a few classes for young writers through a different program, which I believe was quite good, I can say without hesitation that I haven’t seen too many programs for young writers with such a diverse list of available classes as the one hosted by The Loft.
They offer classes on writing genre fiction, writing the epic fantasy, novel writing, writing fan-fiction, personal essays, poetry, historical fiction, college application essays – and who won’t need those someday – and also advanced fiction workshops for students already working on a short story or novel.
For students who can’t travel to Minneapolis, they have a broad list of online classes, each with a suggested age bracket. Some are geared toward students ages thirteen to seventeen, while others are for students ages twelve to fourteen, and still others for ages nine to eleven. There are even classes for students as young as six to eight years old, nurturing that first interest in writing and helping it blossom into a garden of possibilities and stories.
This program gives a hands-on approach to writing, as well as a better look at how to read to improve your craft. Many classes offer critiques not only from other students, but also from the instructor. The unique organization of the program boasts everything writing conferences for adults offer, and there’s no holding back on brainstorming ideas and writing prompts to kick-start creativity.
Students will be learning from such creative writing instructors as Holly Vanderhair, Samantha Ten Eyck, Nicole Kronzer, Rhea Davison-Edwards; and editors including Andrew Karre and Edward J. Rathke; and authors —Kate St. Vincent Vogl, Emily Strasser, Janet Graber, Lyda Morehouse, Rachel Gold, and many more (not a complete list in any category).
I’m inspired just hearing about the program. If you or a young writer you know is looking for an intense but fun learning experience, I doubt you’ll find any better. Check the website out, and consider this—I’m excited about the program, and I don’t even work there.