Stephanie Morrill is the creator of GoTeenWriters.com and the author of several young adult novels, including the historical mystery, The Lost Girl of Astor Street (Blink/HarperCollins). Despite loving cloche hats and drop-waist dresses, Stephanie would have been a terrible flapper because she can’t do the Charleston and looks awful with bobbed hair. She and her near-constant ponytail live in Kansas City with her husband and three kids. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and sign up for free books on her author website.
It's 2018! My holiday break was a mixed bag of the stomach flu, hanging with my dad during chemo, and watching my new Roomba vacuum my floors for me.
One of the very fun things I got to enjoy over the holidays was reading through the survey results and talking on the phone with Jill and Shannon about what 2018 looks like for Go Teen Writers. We have some exciting things planned!
First, here are the three winners of the 1,000 word critiques:
Congratulations! I'll email you all later today and get you hooked up!
Before we get into plans for this year, I thought you all might find some of the survey results interesting.
Staying motivated, editing, and first drafts were the top three issues for the writers who filled out the survey. The number one write-in response was finding time to write, followed closely by story middles and character development. We will address all of these in 2018!
The majority of you get psyched when you see that we're talking about characters. Which is good, because we love talking about characters! Plot was a close second, and then publishing stuff was tied with editing for third.
Some questions and comments I would like to address:
"The blog was orange?"
Yes! I think it was orange for all of 2010 and 2011 (which is approximately a thousand years ago in the blogosphere). Someone asked for a picture, and I thought I would be able to deliver, but I can't find a single one! I will keep looking and report back. (Update! Thank you Forest for finding this screenshot of our orange blog!)
"I love that you're trying new things, but the video format on a lot of recent posts really isn't working for me ... Maybe you could start having a transcript of the video, in the blog post?"
Sorry to hear it's not working. We're embedding from our YouTube channel, so maybe if you go directly there? We will try to do more summarizing of what we cover in the video in the actual post.
"This blog is my home page - that's how much I love it."
This delighted us. We were also strangely delighted by the comment someone left that their parents had blocked Go Teen Writers because of how much time their child was spending on it.
"Would you ever consider doing a writers conference?"
We get this question quite frequently, but I don't know that we've ever answered it publicly, so I'll do that here. We loooove the idea of a Go Teen Writers conference, and we talk/dream about it several times a year. Here are the hurdles we always bump up against:
- Time. There are a lot of logistics involved in putting on a conference, especially one that's open to minors. Since we're all moms with kids at home, and we all have our own writing deadlines, this just hasn't been something we can tackle yet.
- Location. Shan and Jill are in California and Oregon. I'm in Kansas City. There hasn't been an obvious place to hold a conference.
- The time thing really can't be overstated.
Buuuut, we have talked about how we could maybe do a more casual kind of in-person writing workshop. A pop-up conference of sorts. Not sure when and where, but we'll keep you posted.
And this comment was greatly appreciated:
"I've looked through a lot of writing blogs out there throughout the years, including one that always self promotes and sells workshops and such like every second. You guys have always been down to earth and kept information available to those of us who don't have a spare $300 dollars for a course that probably won't help. Go Teen Writers by far has THE most helpful writing articles I have personally come across."We spent a lot of 2017 watching others make courses, membership sites, summits, and other things intended to both help people and make money. We also like helping people and making money, so we talked several times about doing something similar. We always landed on the answer, "No." That's not meant to judge other sites or writers who choose to create and sell that content, but we decided it wasn't the right thing for Go Teen Writers.
Eventually we might make video courses or host a conference, and we do intend to write another craft book over the next year or two, but we like the current mojo on Go Teen Writers. We don't want to peddle courses or workshops. We just want to hang out with you guys and talk about writing.
If you feel the desire to financially contribute to any of us, the absolute best way to do that is to buy new copies of our books, pre-order them when that option is available, and leave reviews. Our desire is to be fiction authors who also blog, which is why the blog offers so much for free. By supporting our fiction writing goals, you help us keep Go Teen Writers a free resource for you and others.
Finally, a few surprises in the survey:
- The outcry for another 100-for-100 challenge. We'll do one this summer!
- The love for our Instagram account. Thanks!
- How many teachers recommend us to their students! Thank you!
- That boogers were mentioned...
- That there weren't more random messages in the comments section. By the way, I also like chocolate cake. And hello, Hann.
So. What about 2018?
Shannon said it first in her post Creating More Than A Story, that you're not just creating a story, but an author. When we looked over the survey results and talked about what's happening in our own writers' hearts, we felt this was an idea we wanted to explore more.
All three of us write very differently from each other, and in 2018, we're going to detail our process for you as step-by-step as we can. And we want you to write along with us! Whether you start fresh with a new idea, dust off an old one, or push on with your current work-in-progress, we hope you'll write along with us this year. We hope as we show you how we are growing as authors, that you will show us how you are growing as an author too.
We think it's going to be a fantastic year!
Do you have writing goals for this year?