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My high school daughter loves to write, mostly fantasy fiction. She
is pretty serious about it and would like to connect with other teens
that share a similar interest. Does anybody know of a teen writers
group in the bay area? Lamorinda/Berkeley/Oakland area preferred.
Mother of Aspiring Writer
Is your daughter familiar with National Novel Writing Month at
www.nanowrimo.org? It was founded in the Bay Area and each year
in November when the event happens there are lots of real-life
writing groups forming, in addition to the online chats. She
could join the site (free) and post for other writers. NaNoWriMo
is a fabulous event and has some teen-oriented programs, as I
recall. FYI, the goal of NaNoWriMo is to write a 50,000 word
novel in the month of November. It's all self-policed, and there
are many ''winners'' who cross the finish line with the minimum
word count. It's great fun and an excellent exercise for
beginning writers. And I commend you for supporting your
daughter in this. I wish I'd had that kind of support as a young
Four-time NaNoWriMo winner
We've mostly been going to 826 Valencia in San Francisco for
classes/workshops. My teen daughter also writes mostly fantasy
-- perhaps we can get our daughters together to see if they
could workshop together. I could facilitate a little. We live in
Berkeley and would prefer to meet here or at a nearby cafe.
in San Francisco... Dave Eggers co-founded 826 Valencia.
Let us know what you discover.
My 15 year old is a prolific and talented writer of teenage fantasy
fiction. I know I am biased, but I think that her writing is so
excellent that I would like an agent to look at it (and yes, my
daughter is all for that!). Does anyone know how this is done, or
have any suggestions for contacts? I know that there are lots of
scam artists out there, and I have little idea of how to avoid
falling prey to them.
Any suggestions are welcome and appreciated!
How cool that your teen is a writer! As a recently agented
writer myself (and boy, was that a long process) I would
suggest finding a professional writer to take a look at your
teen's work just to make sure it's really ready for prime
time, unless you have experience judging that yourself. You
can often find agents to approach by looking at the
acknowledgements section of books that are similar to yours
(or your teen's). Better yet is if you can find an agented
writer who would be willing to introduce your teen's work to
their agent, but it can be difficult to find a writer who will
do so. Agents are as hard to land as publishers, so it might
be better to skip the agent and identify some small publishing
houses that don't require agented submissions and submit a
query to them directly. (There are good books on how to write
queries and identify suitable publishers.)
Good luck to you both! It's tough to get agented or published
these days, but if your teen truly has talent, someone will
want their work... if not right now, eventually (the trick is
to keep at it!)
At 15 my daughter too was a very prolific and talented writer.
Her short stories caught everyone off guard; even her
teachers. Then she started posting some of her work online
and boy did she get a reality check. First of all it took a
while before the editors would even accept her work, then when
she finally got one of her stories posted, the
''constructive'' criticism was brutal for a teen, but
perfectly real for an adult writer.
Now in college, she is still writing; now at a much higher
level. She has constant input from published writers. (her
teachers) She occasionally gets a story or poem online, and
takes in all that criticism very seriously.
Have her start small like a journal or zine, and see how that
goes. Agents want to see previous published work.
Good luck to you and your daughter.
she'll figure it out
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