September 20th, 2008

My Resources for Teen Writers Site Featured in the Book The Teen-Centered Writing Club

The cover of the book The Teen-Centered Writing Club by Constance Hardesty    I just saw that my Resources for Teen Writers site got mentioned in the book The Teen-Centered Writing Club: Bringing Teens and Words Together. In other news, I have a resources for teen writers site. It's actually something my mom put together back when I was a teen writer and she was researching markets where I could send my stuff. Then later, when I was no longer a teen writer, we decided we might as well put all the info up online so that people who still were teen writers might benefit from it. I'm glad people seem to be finding it helpful.

Here's what the book has to say:

I like being lauded for my "lack of commercialism," though if I could figure out some way to make tons of dough off that site, I would honestly probably sell out pretty quick. I did finally put up a banner ad encouraging people to go look at my free "Save Me Plz" YouTube video, and hardly anyone ever even clicks on that -- even though my teen writing site gets thousands upon thousands of visitors -- so if there are all these super-commercialized teen writing sites out there, I seriously doubt that anyone's getting rich off them.

Actually, the cover of The Teen-Centered Writing Club, which features a soulful-looking high school kid sitting next to a pretty girl, reminds me of something that happened when I was in high school. Some filmmakers came to my creative writing class to film the workshop and to interview a few students for a video about being a writer. I was one of the students that the teacher selected to be interviewed, and the whole time I was talking the woman interviewing me was just like, "Yeah! Wow! This is great! Yeah! Wow! Keep going!" So afterward I felt sure that I'd really impressed them and that I'd be featured prominently in the resulting video. Well, a few weeks later our teacher came to class with the finished video, and we all watched it. The video focused almost exclusively on this girl in the class named Cheryl, who was really pretty and appealing and who as far as I recall had no particular interest in writing whatsoever, but she said stuff like "I write about things that really happened to me" and "I keep a journal where I write down all my feelings," sort of your standard high school-level writing crap. I had only one or two lines in the video, one of which I remember was, "Aliens" -- in response to the question: "What are some of the things you like to write about?" (I also remember there was this kid Kevin whose response of "I wrote a story in which World Peace is achieved by replacing all objects with Nerf" also made the cut.) After class, as I was leaving, the teacher handed me an envelope and said, "David, this is for you." I was befuddled. I went to my next class and opened the envelope, which contained a letter from the teacher apologizing for the fact that the video hadn't used any of what I'd said. The teacher said she felt really bad, and that she'd argued with the filmmakers that they should include more of me, but they'd explained that I'd seemed way too thoughtful and articulate, and they were afraid that kids watching the video would be intimidated by me and would think that only smart kids could be writers. So that made me feel better ... I guess. So anyway, high school, yay.