Columns > Published on April 10th, 2023

National Encourage a Young Writer Day is Here

Image by Olia Danilevich

Happy National Encourage a Young Writer Day!

What a fun holiday to celebrate.

I knew I wanted to be a writer before I started middle school. I was always obsessed with stories—I remember being a kid begging my parents to tell me my favorite ones over and over and over again—and as soon as I learned to read, I became obsessed with imbibing them through books. It wasn’t long before I realized that I wanted to tell stories that way, too. I decided on writing books as a career early in life, and I’ve stuck to it ever since.

I couldn’t have done it without the encouragement that I received from teachers, family, and friends. I had high school teachers who praised my writing, and college professors who told me I had what it took to be successful. I have friends who believe so firmly in my future as a published author that when I go to them now, at nearly 30, and give them updates on my querying journey, they’re unsurprised if things are going well; they’ve taken my future success for granted.

Whether it comes from parents, best friends, or teachers, I hope every young writer has someone they trust telling them they’re going to go far.

That’s a really heady thing to realize—that the people you love the most believe in you without question. And it’s something I wish for every young writer out there. Whether it comes from parents, best friends, or teachers, I hope every young writer has someone they trust telling them they’re going to go far.

And for those who are just getting started and looking for ways to find a writing community and support, I’d highly recommend looking into the Young Writers Program at NaNoWriMo. If I’d known about NaNoWriMo when I was in high school, I probably would have been even more insufferable about writing than I already was, but I might also have learned about novel structure and storytelling techniques way earlier than I did.

Having a writing community is so crucial to any writer’s journey. Whether you’re looking to publish books traditionally, self-publish, or just write for the joy of it, having a group of people who understand your obsession with stories and fascination with words can provide much-needed support. So whether young writers have dreams of literary acclaim, commercial success, or AO3 stardom, finding like-minded peers can really set them up for whatever success they’re chasing.

And if you’re a writer who’s in middle school, high school, or college, or otherwise a “young” writer…I just want you to know from my heart that you’re badass. Writing is hard, emotional work; it can be solitary at times, and not everyone is going to understand what drives you to spend hours at your computer penning stories instead of doing something else. But I think it’s really cool that you’ve found a passion and you’re pursuing it, and if you’re reading this, I wish you the greatest of success and joy in your endeavors.

For National Encourage a Young Writer Day, I just want to say to all the young writers out there that you’ve got this!!

About the author

Karis Rogerson is a mid-20s aspiring author who lives in Brooklyn and works at a cafe—so totally that person they warn you about when you declare your English major. In addition to embracing the cliched nature of her life, she spends her days reading, binge-watching cop shows (Olivia Benson is her favorite character) and fangirling about all things literary, New York and selfie-related. You can find her other writing on her website and maybe someday you’ll be able to buy her novels.

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