Author Jonathan Friesen loves to help young adults share their stories with the world. Find out why in this guest post, and learn how young writers can enter “The Last Martin” Writing Contest, open through June 1, 2011.
| The Book
The Writing Contest
One of the benefits of writing books for young people is that you get to visit schools. Lots of them. Elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, home schools—I love them all. And when I release a new book, it gets even better. Take this last month; I’ve been able to travel across North America talking about The Last Martin, the funniest, most intriguing middle grade book you’ll find. (If I do say so myself!)
But I digress! I was talking about visiting schools. When I do, I often ask, “How many of you like to write?” What do you think they say?
In elementary school? Most. By middle school, fewer than half tell me they enjoy it. When I ask a room filled with high schoolers, only two or three hands shoot up.
I think tha’s sad. Where does all this writing passion go? I have my ideas. (I’m putting on my teacher hat.) I think we teach writing like we teach math. “This is right. This is wrong. This is how you do it.” That’s what we say. When really, writing is an art, like painting. Adults never look at kids’ watercolor creations and say, “This splotch of yellow is all wrong!” Nope, they hang them on their refrigerators.
Why tell you all this? I can’t bear to see passionate writers lose their desire. God gives us each stories. Only we can tell them. If kids lose their willingness to share these precious tales, the world loses. We all lose.
It’s important to me that kids pass on their own sacred stories. It really matters. That’s why I spend time investing in young writers who still want to share their gift with the world.
And it’s why I’m so thrilled Zondervan is holding a writing contest in conjunction with the release of The Last Martin. Few activities kindle writing flames like contests, and this one is more than special.