Hey guys! This is John speaking. I clarify that because some totally awesome things have happened, and it won’t just be me posting on the blog anymore.
I’m not too great at suspense, so I’ll just tell you why: TCWT is partnering with Ch1Con, an annual teen writer conference created by some really geeky and fantastic and hilarious people, and as a result we are pooling writers. In my mad power grab, I am also bringing two more victims into the fold to join us on the blog. This means that TCWT now has a team of nine writers (myself included) behind it, six of which are with Ch1Con, and that we’ll be working together with Ch1Con on a number of teen-writer-oriented events. (You can read all of their bios here.)
I am really excited about this, guys. This means big things not only for the blog, but also–I hope–for the quest to give teen writers more and more forums to interact and swap stories and experiences, as well. Ch1Con is doing some amazing things, and being able to work closely with them is going to bring a lot of great opportunities for you all. For example, we plan to start running critique contests, book giveaways, online workshops, group chats, and so on. We also plan to organize mini events and manuscript/story swapping on the TCWT Facebook group, so be sure to join the group if you haven’t already (provided that you have a Facebook account that you feel comfortable using). Posts on the TCWT blog will also be more frequent, will cover much more diverse topics, and will, to everyone’s relief, be written by people who are infinitely more awesome than I am. At the very least, there will be one blog post a week, though most weeks will probably have at least two. These posts will span everything from publishing advice to personal writing experiences to book reviews to interviews to random GIF posts–there are no limits on what our writers will do. (Cue dramatic music.)
On the blog, we’re also giving each month a theme. Our writers aren’t by any means required to follow the theme, but, assuming that it might inspire at least a couple of posts per month, we hope it gives you all a basic idea of what to look for each month. If you’re a blogger and one of our monthly theme particularly inspires you, feel free to write a post to it on your site and send us a link–I’d love to read it. This month, in the spirit of the new venture, the theme is going to be more basic: “Beginnings.”
Another thing: we are trying to make it easier for you to get in touch with us, should you ever have writing questions. So if you want some advice or commiseration or a pep talk, please don’t hesitate to ask. We’ve created a new email, TCWTblog@gmail.com, which all of us will be checking in on. If you need support, we want to help. Seriously. That’s what this blog is here for. And if you’re ever feeling down about your writing and you want someone to talk to, you can talk to one of us.
(Side note: I have a bad history of clicking on a comment notification and then forgetting to respond to the comment, so emailing us is definitely best.)
If you have a writing or publishing question that you email to us and that strikes the interest of one of our writers, with your consent, we will likely turn it into a blog post. We plan to have an intermittent-but-ongoing Q&A series, so please, send us your questions! (Feel free to email us with any ideas/critiques/promotions you are doing that you feel is relevant to the site as well.)
To be clear, we’re not doing away with any current aspects of the blog. In particular, the blog chain will remain intact, and will continue to occur every month. The TCWT community will simply be growing, as I’m hoping these changes will help give anyone who wants it a way to connect with other awesome teens.
Also, in the spirit of expansion, pretty soon we are going to be asking you guys to get involved with the blog. Once everything gets going, we’re going to be looking for more guest posts, but also for your general ideas–about contests, about books to feature, and so on. We really want to let everyone have a say who wants to have a say, and to give other teen writers a chance to share on the blog some of their personal experiences. More on that soon!
And… I think that’s all I have to say! Actually, wait, no it isn’t. Right now, I want to thank you all. I’ve had an amazing time running this blog for these last three years, and I am so excited for things to come. You all are so talented; I know you will go on to do great things in the writing world, and I hope this blog, in some small way, helps you get there. But regardless, thank you endlessly for having read and followed my inane and rambly blog posts. It means the world to me. <3
Now, for the fun stuff: TCWT is home to eight new writers. But instead of simply listing bios (though you can read their bios and follow our contributors here), I wanted to bring out the heavy artillery. So, we’re each going to introduce ourselves via quotes we pulled from our old, laughably-bad stories. Cringes, get ready to be felt.
(Just to be clear: the ages listed below are the ages when each person wrote the excerpt, not their current age.)
Ariel, Age 7:
“Oh puh-leeze can we go camping?” I asked Mother. “Come on, it’s only 6 hours! A fourth of a day!” “Okay” said Mother. ”And don’t complain that you are bored. We’ll go right back if you do!”
I ran upstairs and started to pack. Oh, I’ve noticed that I’m telling you a camping story and you don’t even know my name. Well, I’m Sally and I’m a detective. So are my friends Lonna and Marcy. My blue notebook stores clues. I live in New Jersey. That’s all you’ll need to know now.
Aisha, Age 8:
Ounce upon a time, in London. On the 88nd street lived a family! A family of four, but not the kind you would think!!
Not with two parents and two kids, not even one parent and three kids. But all kids.
Well I guess the two oldest aren’t kids, Lucinda(twnenty-two) and Tom(eighteen) are the oldest.
Next are Lisa(16) and the youngest Lucy(eleven) and they all lived together in a cozy three bedroom house…
Julia, Age 13:
In real life, I have short auburn hair and dark hazel eyes. When I’m Shauna, I have long chocolaty-brown hair and deep green eyes (Made possible by the fact that I wear contacts.) My makeup-person even piles on an extra coating of blush where my very prominent freckle is on my cheek. No one has ever figured out that I live a double life, and I plan to keep it that way.
“Whatever, Kate; I can see that you don’t want to talk about your obsession with hating Shauna Guarder.” Claire laughed. All of my friends were used to me throwing out nasty comments about the author, but sometimes seemed to forget about this fact and expected me to talk with them about how great she was.
“Hey, it’s not my fault she stinks on ice.” I said with added seriousness, throwing the group into a fit of giggles. My secret was safe for now…
Mark, Age 14:
[In the main character’s intro to the book]
Don’t worry, I’m not about to kill myself at the end of this novel. You’ll have to wait a few more books for that. This is the story of the past seven hundred and thirty-one days of my life. (One of them was a leap year, outraged math people.)
Emma, Age 12:
“You look like a raccoon who applied too much eyeliner this morning,” though Samantha, she never announced her rebuttals, no matter how witty, in fear of being further mocked and embarrassed.
Olivia, Age 13:
Along with the unusual stillness, something else was bothering me. Something not quite tangible, but undeniably present. It was almost as if I could feel what was causing the forest unease, a sense of hatred and corruption.
Patrice, Age 19:
At her last words the chapel erupted with claps and cheers; it was David. With all the applause he was getting I would’ve thought he was a politician who’d just announced he was running for President.
Not that I blamed them, I mean David was hot, and hot wasn’t a word I used to describe people. His smile almost made me melt. He had the richest, dark brown eyes, perfectly, plump lips, and warm caramel skin. It was a scene straight out of a teen romance novel. That is if I believed in insta-love and all that. However, it wasn’t only the female population he captivated for everyone seemed to be in love with him.
Realizing he had charmed me earlier just like he was charming everyone now, I let me eyes wander around the room, trying to escape the rhythm of his voice. He was probably the same as every other spoiled, popular, student body president who was most likely also the captain of some sports teams. Since I liked to avoid those, hopelessly in love with themselves, douchebaggy types, swooning over him, again, would be a complete waste of my time.
Kira, Age 10:
[Kira posted her first ever story on her blog, complete with shiny photos and formatting, so I’m just going to link to that. Read it here.]
John, Age 13:
My name is Taylor Williams and it was I who murdered Barbara Jensen. Now don’t be too appalled by me, I didn’t have much choice but to kill her. Barbara Jensen was a fine woman. I can’t say she was my favorite person but I had nothing against her and she had nothing against me. Why kill her, you ask? Well, I had my reasons. However, in the event that you are a cop, these reasons will not be shared with you. All I will say is that she knew too much. She had stumbled upon something inadvertently; a secret, something that could bring me down and I could not let word get out. Once I discovered that she knew, I made her swear that she would not tell anyone, especially the police. I informed her that if she were to reveal me (quote) “Your future will be very bleak.” Nevertheless, I couldn’t risk it. Word would almost certainly spread. So I silenced her voluble mouth.
[^*CRINGES VERY VERY HARD* Can you tell I had a thesaurus with me that day?]
And with that, I think it’s finally official: TCWT 2.0 has arrived.
(DUN DUN DUN.)