Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Do the math

Every year the Mt. Diablo Branch of the California Writers Club sponsors a writing contest for public and private middle school students in our Contra Costa County. Our branch is incorporated with the mission to educate both writers and the public in the art and craft of professional writing.

It's always exciting to recognize young writers who have excelled in the areas of short story, poetry, and essay/personal narrative.

It was my privilege on Saturday to speak at the banquet honoring the winners of the Young Writers Contest, their parents, relatives, teachers, and friends. The students were presented with a plaque, a check, and generous amounts of praise and congratulations.

The person who introduced me mentioned that I was a scientist. Afterwards, a young girl came up to me and told me she was interested in math and science also, but didn't want to stop writing. Did I have any advice?

"How long do you have?" I asked.

Not really, but I did take some time to tell her she didn't have to make a choice, that if she had the passion and the discipline she could do anything and everything she enjoyed and felt she was good at.

Of course, I did tell her to do the math first!

What advice do you give young writers?


Monica Ferris said...

I tell them writers first love to read, it's because they are in love with stories that they want to write their own. Then I tell them that just as a carpenter has to master the tools of his trade they must master the tools of writing: spelling and grammar. Most are not afraid of this challenge, I'm glad to say.

Betty Hechtman said...

I agree with Monica about telling them to read. I am always surprised to meet people who want to write and get published, but don't read.

My fathter was a writer and he taught me all about rejection and not being stopped by it. I'd throw in a few words about perserverance if I was giving advice.

Anonymous said...

No wiser advice than given by Monica and Betty; then, just follow your heart....xo