YWP Mat-Su: Week 3

Places to publish. Pizza parties. Competition. SO MANY THINGS I COULD COVER.

On Monday, a student asked if their work would be published (printed) at the end of the month. I told her that, in the past, YWP has gained enough sponsorships to afford printing/publishing services to winning participants, but that was not the case this year. Honestly, I didn’t think middle schoolers would be emotionally ready to publish their work, much less skill-ready to do so. But these kids continue to surprise me with their writing, and it was a little sad to have to tell them, “no.” The matter is not totally off the table yet, however – I’ll keep you posted.

When I pitched the idea of a club like this to school administrators and teachers, I had this vision of a grown-up write-in where I would just sit around with students and write, basically just a supervisor/host. But these young people have such a hunger and thirst for bettering their writing that it makes me think I need to fall in love with my own writing again, to the point where I live and breathe it so naturally I go after my publishing goals every day (and help them do so as well).

Speaking of hunger, a few of our Wrimos, as we call them, said they wanted a pizza and ice cream party to celebrate their accomplishments at the end of the month. They were so excited, I didn’t dare say no (I also love pizza and ice cream, so really, no choice to be made here).

To give you an idea of just how much we have accomplished so far, as a group, I provide this screenshot:

You’ll notice I’m FIFTH on the list, and those girls at the top are totally schooling me. Only I can see this on the admin side of the website, but when a few of them saw me filling in the progress chart in the library where we meet, they set to work that night and hit 10k, passing our til-then leader. This morning, I noticed our leader had moved back up to the top. Now, some people aren’t big fans of competition (having played sports all through high school and college, I’m not one of them), but when you see word counts soar as a result of it, that’s amazing! They’re FINALLY not worrying about the quality, but the quantity, which right now, is the point. They’ve put their inner editors aside and focused on cranking out something bigger than they’ve achieved before.

I could go on about our process, but I’ll save the rest for my end-of-the-month wrap-up.

Until then,

Write on!