Writing Tips for Teen Writers

frozen waterfall

Are you a teen writer? Or do you know one?

Picture this:

Isle of Wight Legacy of Writers Celebration. Pictured are authors Claudia Newby-Tynes, Doris Gwaltney, S.A. Borders-Shoemaker, W. Michael Farmer, and Donald Knowlton.
Isle of Wight County Legacy of Writers Celebration, 2019

A young teen something sits at one of those old, monstrous desktops. Her blonde, curly hair bounces ever so slightly as she types on the keyboard. She’s been sitting there for at least an hour and a half.

Sound familiar?

I mentioned in an earlier blog about the shock my parents got when they discovered my knack for writing. And how that eventually produced some respect for my endeavors.

But what about now? How do I feel about the process now that I’m firmly outside those years?

These are questions I recently asked myself when I got the request to speak at an annual celebration of the 50+ authors in Isle of Wight County, VA. After chewing on the thought, I presented on what I know well: how to support teen authors.

Along these lines, I’ll share with you all the core of my talk. You just gotta remember the core principles of writing.


D= Discipline. You will never accomplish any sort of publication if you don’t commit to the cause.

L= Learn. Finding your literary voice can only happen when you are learning about why language matters.

C= Confidence. You must believe in your work enough to be courageous and let others see it.

L= Listen. For your work to be effective, it must reflect life and make the reader believe in it. So listen in to what’s around you: conversations, thoughts, ideas, the way people use words.

It’s really important to make good thought habits. Not just to get the writing done, but to do it with the right mindset for success. And while there’s a lot of advice out there about the hyper-specific how-to’s, I want to give teen writers (and you) something they might not immediately think about.

What are your rules for writing? How have you mentored younger writers? Or how have you found support as a teen writer? Let me know in the comments below!

In Courage & Care,


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