For Young Writers

head scratcher doodle
Picture of an actual writer hard at work

Do you love to write? I do! I always did, even when I didn’t know what I wanted to write about. When I was a kid, I wrote stories about myself, my family, my cat, and sometimes aliens.

You know what else I always loved to do?


If you want to be a writer, that’s the first step: read. Read different kinds of things: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, picture book, novels, comics, magazines, newspapers, stuff online. Anything & everything!

Also: listen. Listen to the way people talk around you. Listen to the radio, listen to podcasts, listen to TV shows, movies, & other videos. Listen to someone tell a story or read aloud to you, or listen to an audiobook. Really listen to how people use words and how they tell stories. Read your own stories out loud. Do they sound different than they did in your head?

What else?


Okay, that’s really hard. It’s hard to write, and it’s okay to admit that. But if you love to write & you want to be a writer, just keep going. If you can’t start at the beginning, start in the middle, or start at the end. Maybe you know how your story is supposed to end, and now you need to find out how to get there.

If you don’t know what’ supposed to happen at all, start with a character. Who is this person (or animal, or alien)? What are they thinking? What are they feeling? Why? Writing is a little bit like science–usually, it starts with a question.

This is Buggy, star of my first alien story when I was 7 years old.

Or you can start with a storyboard, or a picture, even if you’re not very good at drawing. (I’m not very good at drawing, but I like to do it anyway.) Drawing sometimes helps you figure things out.

There’s no wrong place to start writing. The only thing that won’t help is giving up, even though you might really want to. Here it is in bold, because it’s that important:

Don’t give up!

Here are some more resources & inspiration for young writers.

Debbie Ridpath Ohi’s Advice for Young Writers

Jess Keating’s Write with Jess! video series