The Caldecott and Newbery winners are in..
5 February 2014
Guiding your young authors through the creative writing process – Emerging writers
20 February 2014

Guiding your young authors through the creative writing process – Pre-readers

Young authors all over the greater Paris area are sharpening their pencils and collecting story nuggets in their writing journals in preparation for the 2014 Young Authors’ Fiction Festival (YAFF), co-sponsored by Time Traveler Tours and the American Library in Paris. 

The deadline for YAFF submissions is April 1st (no fooling!). Which means that many young Paris-based authors will have already moved beyond free writing. They may have committed to an idea already that they are now drafting into a story, from beginning to middle to end. Or perhaps they have finished their first story draft and are ready to type it out on the computer, thus moving into the revising and editing stages.  If this is the case, they’re probably asking for some guidance right about now. If you are wondering how to help your young author, or even if you can, then this post is for you

Sarah Towle, co-director of the Young Authors Fiction Festival, has written a blog post with some useful tips as to how parents can help their young writers. The main point, according to Sarah, is to use every call for help as an opportunity for a  “teachable moment” (ie: an opportunity to learn):   

The key is to not do for your young authors, but to guide them so that they may do for themselves. Challenge yourself to make each call for support a Teachable Moment, i.e., an opportunity for them to learn. Be ready to accept a “No” if your young author does not enjoy your point of view. The author gets ultimate veto power. End of story! 

Sarah also reminds parents that in order to inspire great writers, it’s important to read to your children often:

Read to your young author, always and often. Remember that receptive linguistic skills always precede productive ones, i.e., reading comes before writing. The more you cuddle your burgeoning readers on your lap and read to them, the better readers and writers they will become. Guaranteed. It’s like magic!

See Sarah’s full post on her website at