Why we had to bring our creative writing workshops online for teens and twenty-somethings

THE WAY THEY SPRAWLED on blankets and benches, hair grazing the pages of journals. Their pens, stirring quietly but powerfully. Never looking up or asking the time. There were no clocks. When we think back to our early Storymakers sessions, it’s easy to see why we realized we needed to bring our creative writing workshops online so teens and twenty-somethings everywhere could experience this kind of story-studying and inspiration.

We are bursting with excitement to now be offering the Storymakers workshop, Raise Your Voice, our self-paced online creative writing course, via Squarespace.

Here are three reasons we had to take Storymakers online, and why this is not like school or even other creative writing workshops online, especially for teens.

1. You can’t study creative writing the way you can sign up for piano or basketball in high school.

A few years ago, my writer friend Kerry Gilbert and I were talking about a girl we knew who was having a hard time in high school. She’d found solace in writing stories. Her mom, who knew I was a writer, asked where her daughter could go to develop the interest that was saving her.

The fact is, even in big cities, creative writing courses for teens just isn’t a thing. There is nowhere for young women to go and study the art of writing. We wanted to change that. We wanted to give teens and twenty-somethings the tools, inspiration and mentoring we would have loved to have had at the age. All the things we’ve learned the hard way, and the writers that showed us so much--who never make high school course outlines.

So, we created Storymakers.

First, we did creative writing workshops in person with teen girls at a beautiful, historic house dedicated to art-making, often on the lush, serene grounds of this special estate. It was impactful and successful in so many ways, and we realized we needed to bring our creative writing workshops online to help young women everywhere start and sustain a joyful writing practice.

2. You’ve got the fundamentals, and you really want to write, but you just can’t get started.

Most creative writing workshops online focus on fundamentals and literary devices: plot and place, theme and scene.

Having facility with the fundamentals is important, but it’s only one part of becoming a good writer. The other, much more challenging part, is actually sitting down and doing the writing, because you’ve got a topic you’re burning to write about.

Through writing prompts and exercises as well as readings and challenges, targeted to your age group and packaged around moving and relevant themes instead of devices, Storymakers helps young writers:

  • Ignite and harness their unique writing talents and artistic intuition

  • Start stories and poems they won’t want to leave

  • Express themselves in powerful ways

  • Develop writing habits that will lead to their best work

  • Grow a collection of writing that can be submitted to editors and contests

  • Feel inspired to experiment after reading the gorgeous works of writers they haven’t been exposed to

3. You reach higher when you’re with a tribe.

Writing is a solitary act, but being a writer isn’t. Writers often form groups so they can share work, encourage each other, continue their learning and lift each other up.

We knew if we took Storymakers’ creative writing workshops online, we could create the warmth and encouragement of the writing tribe we belong to. So, in addition to writing workshops, we help writers connect and grow through the Storymakers community.

Do you love, love, love to write and can’t wait to find your tribe? Do you want to start and sustain a joyful, plentiful writing practice? Do you want to uncover and use your unique voice? Check out our new workshop Raise Your Voice: Get Inspired and Make Your Writing Gutsy, Gorgeous & Urgent. The first lesson on voice is FREE!!! Visit ourstorymakers.com to download and start your amazing writing journey.  



Natalie Appleton