In my years as a book editor, I’ve had the opportunity to work with all sorts of different authors in all sorts of different contexts, whether it’s directly through book editing or more broadly in lectures given at writer’s conferences and conventions. But nothing has been more rewarding to me than working with young writers.
I’m talking teenagers. High school students. Kids who are already well on their way to publication. Each year I return to my high school, a magnet school for the arts, to discuss fiction and publishing with the seniors and sophomores. I mentor one of the seniors in a year-long fiction project. I’ve also run a course for young writers at a conference, and it might surprise you to learn that several of my paying clients over the last couple years have been teens (and their very supportive parents).
Most of them haven’t published anything yet. But then again, neither have most of my first-time clients. And one of the most important things I’ve learned in the course of working with these talented young writers is that all of us—anyone pursuing writing—has a lot to learn from them.
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