News & Events

Meeting Liz Kessler

by Naomi Kinsman

When you’re reading, have you ever had a moment when the world opens up and lets the magic in?


Maybe, like author Liz Kessler, magic shows up for you when you’re writing, too.


A couple Inklings and I had the opportunity to meet with Liz before her book launch at Linden Tree. We talked about writing, magic, and the creative process. Here are some of the questions we asked, along with Liz’s inspiring answers.


Q: Why do you write about mermaids?

A: I love that edge between what we know and what we don’t. The sea offers all kinds of possibilities. I love the fact that anything could be happening there.


Q: What do you do when you have too many ideas?

A: It’s like ketchup. When the bottle is completely full, you turn it upside down but you can’t get anything out. Ideas are like that too. Instead of going straight into a story, I spend a long time building my ideas. I take long walks and think. I collect possibilities on index cards. Once I’m more sure of the ideas I want to use, I type them up. Then I cut and paste them onto big pieces of paper, sorting out scenes and chapters. Then, I type up my plan, and again, I write lots of notes and continue to make changes. Finally, after about three months, I have a solid plan, and I start to write. While I’m plotting, I try to use physical objects, paper and glue, anything I can see. Writing is so much in the head that I like to have physical objects to help me see the story.


Q: How do you create such relatable characters?

A: I like to look at the world in a childlike way, and I put a lot of myself into my characters. I also choose characters that catch my imagination–like Emily Windsnap. I’m grateful to her for taking me on adventures. One way I get to know my characters is by cutting out images in magazines and making collages. Once I have an idea about what my character looks like and what kind of personality she has, then I work on names.


Q: When did you know you wanted to be an author?

A: I started writing at an early age, and I even published a poem when I was 9 years old. Unfortunately, though, school and I were different shapes. I was naughty at school. But then, I had a teacher who changed the direction of my life. She told me that I could do better than I was doing. And she cared so much about reading and writing that she made me love it, too.


Q: Any words of advice for youth writers?

A: Try to be patient. Don’t worry too much about getting your writing published. While you’re young, write about what you love. You have all the time in the world, but right now, you can write for the sheer love of it. Share your writing with a group of peers–like the Inklings! Give feedback to one another kindly, and try not to put yourself under too much pressure.

At the end of her talk, Liz told us about a book she loved as a child, The Adventures of the Wishing Chair. In this story, an ordinary-looking chair granted wishes. Liz would sit in chairs around her own house and make wishes, wondering if maybe this time, the wish would be granted. She loves writing stories that invite us to see the possibilities in our everyday world. Certainly, her Emily Windsnap stories make us wonder: This time when I dive into the pool, will I grow a tail?


And so, I ask our Inklings … What kinds of magical windows and doorways can you open with your stories? What possibilities can you help us see?


Liz Kessler’s latest Emily Windsnap book has just arrived in bookstores. Use this link to support your local indie and to buy Emily Windsnap and the Falls of Forgotten Island. You might also enjoy A Year Without Autumn or Has Anyone Seen Jessica Jenkins?

Announcing the 2018 Inklings Book Contest Winners and Finalists

This year, there were 242 young writers who submitted their works to the Inklings Book Contest. Wow! Many thanks for sharing your work with us. We consider it an honor to get to read it.  Below is the list of winners and finalists. If that’s you, we’ll be in touch soon!



  • Padma Madhyasta, Grade 3
  • Shinjini Samanta, Grade 3
  • Liana Zhu, Grade 3
  • Jeein Choi, Grade 4
  • Sanjay Ravishankar, Grade 5
  • Ksenia Baatz, Grade 6
  • Amann Mahajan, Grade 6
  • Anna Birman, Grade 7
  • Adam Collins, Grade 7
  • Alexa Friesel, Grade 7
  • Nuala Kilroy, Grade 7
  • Anna Yang, Grade 7
  • Mito Funatsu, Grade 8
  • Eva Salvatierra, Grade 8
  • Ember Summer, Grade 8
  • Max Wang, Grade 8
  • Allison Gable, Grade 9
  • Claire McNerney, Grade 9



  • Maryam Ali, Grade 3
  • Akshita Anand, Grade 3
  • Larrabee Mitchell, Grade 3
  • Aarna Patil, Grade 3
  • Dalia Shapiro, Grade 3
  • Micha Shapiro, Grade 3
  • Sara Al-Khasib, Grade 4
  • Carly Bankston, Grade 4
  • Adelaide Chan, Grade 4
  • Eliza Coleman, Grade 4
  • Ruthie Gawley, Grade 4
  • Mahika Katariya, Grade 4
  • Ching Yi Mak, Grade 4
  • Nathan Petchdenlarp, Grade 4
  • Lily Shi, Grade 4
  • Aanya Signh, Grade 4
  • Sahana Srinivasan, Grade 4
  • Lila Tierney, Grade 4
  • Malia Wright, Grade 4
  • Elaina Xu, Grade 4
  • Alexa Zhang, Grade 4
  • Angeline Alex, Grade 5
  • Claire Blecourt, Grade 5
  • Alyssa Bick, Grade 5
  • Christine Chang, Grade 5
  • Harshita Dasot, Grade 5
  • Lochlan Kominar, Grade 5
  • Sagnik Nag Chowdhury, Grade 5
  • Carolina Ruiz, Grade 5
  • Arush Sharma, Grade 5
  • Natalie Strohman, Grade 5
  • Amelia Tan, Grade 5
  • Kayla van Waes, Grade 5
  • Katherine Yang, Grade 5
  • Zoe Burris, Grade 6
  • Olga Sofia Dominguez Salcedo, Grade 6
  • Maizie Ferguson, Grade 6
  • Sofia Gamez, Grade 6
  • Rachel George, Grade 6
  • Amy Gillson, Grade 6
  • Collin Goel, Grade 6
  • Emma Healy, Grade 6
  • Ava Hendrix, Grade 6
  • Katherine LaWer, Grade 6
  • Dylan Lefever, Grade 6
  • Claire Lignore, Grade 6
  • Vivian Lin, Grade 6
  • Jenessa Mazerlev, Grade 6
  • Reid Rademacher, Grade 6
  • Suchitha Reddy, Grade 6
  • Stella Scott, Grade 6
  • Himangi Sharma, Grade 6
  • Natalie Sharp, Grade 6
  • Julie Shi, Grade 6
  • Yetta Tan, Grade 6
  • Madeline Tsang, Grade 6
  • Julia Vajgel, Grade 6
  • Claire Wong, Grade 6
  • Natalie Wong, Grade 6
  • Arhana Aatresh, Grade 7
  • Natasha Anguelouch & Mia Rodriguez, Grade 7
  • Mia Bartl, Grade 7
  • Mackenzie Cacciaguidi, Grade 7
  • Lisa Fung, Grade 7
  • Mikaela Kwan, Grade 7
  • Shannon Ma, Grade 7
  • Clara Markel, Grade 7
  • Amanvir Parhar, Grade 7
  • Calvin Ray, Grade 7
  • Fiona Reenan, Grade 7
  • Claire Reiger, Grade 7
  • Lexie Richert, Grade 7
  • Sonoroa Shaw, Grade 7
  • Ava Taylor, Grade 7
  • Laasya Babbellapati, Grade 8
  • Jacob Blaum, Grade 8
  • Erin Chang, Grade 8
  • Subhajit Das, Grade 8
  • Maya DeBolle, Grade 8
  • Inés García, Grade 8
  • Maggie Lee, Grade 8
  • Eva Lim, Grade 8
  • Jacquelyn Lo Bianco, Grade 8
  • Polina Runova, Grade 8
  • Roberto Sanchez, Grade 8
  • Gianna Sandoval, Grade 8
  • Maivi Trinh, Grade 8
  • Jade Wang, Grade 8
  • Lily Wang, Grade 8
  • Kaashvi Agnihotri, Grade 9
  • Sophia Bertoldo, Grade 9
  • Sonia Kulasooriya, Grade 9

Author Event with Gabriel Gale

 On February 9, Gabriel Gale visited Hicklebee’s to promote his new book, A Fiery Friendship. Society of Young Inklings was privileged to meet with him prior to the event to learn about his writing process.

One of our Inklings, Samuel, asked Gabriel a few questions. How long have you been writing? Who does the illustrations? If someone wants to write a book, what should they do first?
Gabriel shared that his background is in screenwriting; he is actually new to writing novels. For the Age of Oz series, Gabriel works with a co-author, Lisa Fiedler. Gabriel handles all the plotting, character development, and theme development. When the time comes to put the book together, Gabriel turns it over to Lisa. Lisa executes Gabriel’s vision and puts the story into a novel format. As an artist himself, Gabriel also enjoys having lots of input on the illustrations that go along with his stories.
When starting a book, Gabriel focuses on theme and characters first. Gabriel also shared that he is a meticulous outliner—he outlines every chapter in great detail.
We are so grateful to Gabriel Gale for sharing his time and thoughts with us! We love learning from other authors.

Submit to the Inklings Book Contest…We’ll Write You Back

If you’ve spent any time with us, you’ve probably gathered that it’s Inklings Book Contest season here at Society of Young Inklings. We’ve been talking about our writing contest since January and now we’re in the final days of the submission period. As we wind down, we wanted to share the heart behind the contest. It’s not about competition—it’s about encouraging young writers.


Mentor Loraine McCormick with Inkling Louisa Pflaum at our 2017 Inklings Book Party


I started Society of Young Inklings because in second grade I had the chance to meet an author and talk with her about my writing. She looked me in the eye and said, “You’re an author.” Her belief in me made me believe in myself. When I started publishing books for young readers, one half of my lifelong dream came true. Society of Young Inklings came out of the other half of my dream—finding ways to connect creative youth with pros. The Inklings Book Contest is one of the most impactful ways we make that connection.


Writers deal with silence all the time. It’s heartbreaking to work on a piece for months (usually years!), work up the courage to submit it to an agent or editor, and receive only silence in reply. Our mentor team understands this reality. We know how silence feels because at one point or another in our careers, we’ve all experienced it. The reality of the publishing market is that agents and editors don’t have time to reply to every submission … in fact, they can only reply to a very small percentage of what comes across their desks. We wanted our writing contest to be different. We’re delighted that the Inklings Book Contest offers us the opportunity to band together and do what no one of us could do on our own. While one of us couldn’t possibly write back to 300 applicants, a team of pro volunteers absolutely can—which means that none of our writing contest applicants will have to hear that discouraging silence. Whether they win, are a finalist, or simply receive a note of encouragement in response to their application, every writer has the opportunity to learn and grow when they take part in the Inklings Book Contest.


If you’re a youth writer and you haven’t already, start working on your submission and send it in by March 15. We can’t wait to hear from you. If you’re an educator, a parent, or someone who knows a creative youth who has a voice that needs to be heard, please share the Inklings Book Contest. And if you’re a creative pro and you want to be part of this amazing collaborative feedback extravaganza, let us know. We’d love to have you as part of our community.


We dream that each year, more youth and more pros will come together for this meaningful collaboration. We’re celebrating youth voices and creative growth. Each application that flies into our inbox is another point of connection—one youth to one pro—and we all grow and gain perspective from the process.


In creativity,

Inklings Book Flash Fundraising Sale

by Naomi Kinsman

Inklings Book Party 2017


A few years back, Make a Wish Foundation transformed the city of San Francisco into the landscape of a little boy’s dreams. He became Batman, and we gathered to imagine right along with him. When I think of the thousands of people gathered to cheer him on, my eyes still well up with tears.


We don’t realize how powerful we are. We look at the challenges in our world and think:


I don’t have enough money.
I don’t have enough time.
I don’t have enough influence.


The truth is, we have all of those things. Maybe not on our own, but when we choose to come together, we most certainly do.


We’d like to invite you to give small, mightily. Your gift, multiplied by the strength of community, helps youth unleash their powerful voices. Here’s how you can give.


  1. Donate $35 and receive an Inklings Book during our Flash Fundraising Sale. The proceeds of your gift directly support our Inklings Book editorial letter writing campaign and mentorship of youth writers.
  2. Share the campaign far and wide. Help us spread the word on social media and in your community.
  3. Read the book—truly savor it—and then write a review or tell a friend. As a reader, you give youth a meaningful opportunity … the chance to touch your heart.


When we write a story or a poem, we aren’t only putting words on a page. Our words are made up of the fabric of our lives, the texture of our experiences, the tone of our perspective. When we see our words on the page in sharply defined lines, we can’t help but reflect: is that truly the world as I see it? The act of writing changes us, and sharing our writing gives us a glimpse of our impact. Through our words, we help others see what we see. And when we see in new ways, we are changed.


Put simply, stories and poems have the power to change the world. But first, they change us.


Be a part of something small but mighty this week. Donate to receive an Inklings Book during our Flash Fundraising Sale. Help youth tap into their powerful, world-changing voices.


Give Today

Interview with an Inkling: Inklings Book Contest Winner, Toby Jacob

As you know, the Inklings Book Contest is here! So, today, we’re interviewing Toby Jacob, one of our 2017 Inklings Book Contest winners.  As you’ll read, at first, she didn’t even want to submit to the contest! We’re sure glad she did. Maybe you’re on the fence, too, wondering if you should send in that story or poem you’ve been working on. We hope you’ll be encouraged by Toby and submit today.


Toby Jacob, Age 14


How did you hear about the Inklings Book Contest?
There was a flyer in my creative writing classroom.


What made you decide to submit?
At first, I didn’t want to submit because I didn’t think I could win. But a good friend of mine convinced me.


Did you submit a story or a poem?
A poem, titled “Storm.”


What is it about?
It’s about personal experiences that I had with a kid at my school for most of elementary school.


How did you feel when you found out you were one of the winners?
I was so crazy happy and also really nervous about other people reading my work. But mostly I was really happy.


Tell us about the mentorship and revision part of the contest. What was your revision focus? Was it hard to revise?
I spent a lot of time trying to revise my poem so that it was shorter and more coherent. It was really hard for me to say goodbye to some parts because I really liked them, but in the end, all the edits that my mentor Naomi and I made were for the best. I had a ton of fun working with her and I learned a lot.


What writing have you been working on since?
Since I won the Inklings Book Contest, I continued mentorship with Naomi and right now we are working on a short story. It’s been so helpful to have someone to help guide me through this whole process. I’m really appreciating her help in creating and improving my writing.


Thanks again to Toby for talking with us!  If you’re ready to submit to the Inklings Book Contest or you want to learn more, check out

Winter 2018 Programming


This Winter, Society of Young Inklings has some new – and old! – ways for you to take part and sharpen your writing skills.


  • Online Writer’s Circles – Join a small circle of dedicated writers who will encourage, provide specific feedback, and inspire you. Your group will be facilitated by a pro-writer and mentor through an online video chat. Click here to sign up!


  • Inklings Book Contest – It’s our favorite time of year! Submit your story or poem to our FREE Inklings Book Contest and you could be published in our annual Inklings Book! Winners receive a two-session editorial mentorship with a professional mentor/writer, throughout which they will revise and polish their poem or story. The revised stories and poems are then published in the Inklings Book. Finalists receive a personalized editorial letter with tips and encouragement about their writing. We open for submission on January 8. RSVP or submit by February 15, and you will receive a personalized editorial letter, even if you’re not a finalist! Read more about the contest here.


  • Editorial Letter Mentorship – You’ve finished your story or poem… Now what?
    Receive professional feedback from a writer who is passionate about writing craft and who can offer you concrete strategies for taking your work to the next level. Submit your work today!


  • Coming Soon! Idea StormNever face the blank page empty-handed again! Brew up a storm of ideas with Society of Young Inklings in this game-packed online master class. Read more here.



  • Bay Area Events – We’ve got two exciting events in February: a meet and greet with author, Gabriel Gale on February 9 at Hicklebee’s and a Launch Your Novel Workshop on February 24 with Naomi Kinsman. Follow the links to learn more.






10 Ways to Support Your Favorite Non-Profit

by Naomi Kinsman



Which nonprofit has captured your heart this year? Chances are, you have a list! Supporting those meaningful causes may be more simple than you think.

What I’ve learned, as founder and Executive Director of Society of Young Inklings, is that people are an organization’s greatest asset. You may not realize it, but even tiny actions can yield enormous impact for organizations.

Wondering where to start? Here’s a list of ten possibilities.

1. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube or Pinterest.

Your vote of confidence isn’t only social proof that the organization’s cause is meaningful. By following the organization, you influence the hidden strings behind the curtain and boost their reach. In other words, your simple click helps your favorite organization touch more lives.

Or, for extra oomph, like, share and comment on their posts, or post a picture and note on social media about your experience with the organization.

Want to follow SYI? Here are our links: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest

2. Forward one of their emails to a friend to help build a new connection.

In nearly every conversation about SYI, an aha! moment occurs. “You know who you should meet …” someone will say. Amazing! These connections unlock new possibilities. Next time you receive an email from your favorite organization, consider: Who in your circle needs to know about these resources or initiatives?

At SYI, we’re looking to make connections with potential Collaborating Artists, educators, librarians, and of course, potential Inklings and their parents.


3. Email them a story about your experience with their offerings.

Nonprofit staff and volunteers pour hours and passion into their work. You’d be surprised how meaningful and heartening your story will be. Your experience might even become a powerful testimony that helps them spread the word about not only what they do, but why they do it.

4. Give one of their products as a gift this holiday season.

Many nonprofits have swag, products, or gift cards for services. In many cases, these gifts are the ones that last long after the wrapping and bows are cleared away.

Looking for an SYI gift? Check out these possibilities: Editorial Letter Mentorship, SYI Published Books


5. Volunteer a few hours of your time and expertise.

Sure, there may be posted volunteer opportunities, but do you have a special skill or interest area that doesn’t quite fit?  Let that organization know! Send a quick email to explain your idea and area of expertise.

At SYI, we’re specifically looking for experts in online education, marketing, Facebook ads, and fundraising.


6. Review the organization or its products on Yelp, Amazon, indie sites, etc.

Well-placed reviews influence people at decision-making moments. Your review counts. If you write one, multiply your impact by cross posting it on a couple sites.

To help SYI in this way, consider reviewing one of our Your Name in Ink or Inklings Books.


7. If you’re making purchases on Amazon, use Amazon Smile.

At no cost to you, a portion of the revenue from your purchases goes directly to the nonprofit.

To support SYI with your Amazon purchases, go to and select Society of Young Inklings as your non-profit of choice. Bookmark and use your link to shop on Amazon!


8. Make an introduction between people you know at two similarly minded nonprofits or companies.

Partnerships are powerful. Help your favorite nonprofits connect with others who are doing similar work. A personal introduction removes barriers and makes collaboration more efficient and thus, cost-effective.

SYI is looking to partner with online educators, literacy organizations, and organizations who serve youth. We would also love to collaborate with companies whose products and apps focus on writers, books, and creativity.

9. Think of an influencer in your sphere who should know about the organization and make an introduction.

Do you know a blogger, podcaster, or other influencer whose topic relates to the organization’s cause? Your personal introduction could result in a guest post or other opportunity to multiply the organization’s efforts.

If you’d like to help Society of Young Inklings in this way, we’re specifically looking to make connections around the topic of books, literacy, writing, and creativity.

10. Support the organization financially.

Remember, even small donations help. It’s easy to get into the mindset that only large dollar amounts make a difference. However, keep in mind that $10,000 is only 400 gifts of $25, or 100 gifts of $100. Together, we can do much more than any of us can do on our own.

If you’d like to support Society of Young Inklings with a gift of any size, you can do so at this link.











The Power of Story with Daria Peoples-Riley

When our friend, author Daria Peoples-Riley, read an article about Crocker Prep in New Orleans, her wheels started turning. The article explained that after the devastation of Katrina, New Orleans public schools had to adapt. While some schools adopted a “no excuses” discipline policy, Crocker Prep took on a different, “trauma informed” approach. The policies at Crocker are designed to care for the whole child – both in and out of school – and to care for any needs the child may have due to experiencing trauma. You can read more about Crocker’s approach by reading the same article Daria read.


The article also told the story of a young writer named Sherlae (name changed for privacy) who attends Crocker. When Daria read about Sherlae and her love for writing, she wanted to offer some encouragement, writer-to-writer. She was able to track down a contact at the school and send Sherlae a care package. This exchange started a mentoring relationship between Daria and Sherlae. Recently, in partnership with Society of Young Inklings, Daria was able to visit Crocker Prep to host a workshop with Sherlae and some of her classmates.


The workshop was held for a small group of 7th and 8th graders who have a developed interest in writing and drawing. It was an impactful and unique experience for both the students and Daria as they were able roll up their sleeves and dig in deeply to their creative work.



Society of Young Inklings was delighted to be able to sponsor the workshop and we spoke to Daria after the event to learn more about it.

What was your goal for the session?

My ultimate goal was to meet children in New Orleans and support Crocker Prep’s commitment to providing an excellent, compassion-based philosophy grounded in nurturing the social-emotional needs of their students. I wanted to give students an opportunity for creative exploration and a positive art making experience, one that made them feel successful.

Crocker doesn’t have an arts program, so it was important to me to foster an environment for students to express themselves freely through art and words, which is why it was so impactful that students were able to keep all of the supplies provided by Society of Young Inklings.


I also like to learn about the children I write books for because it connects me to their world first hand. It seems like I wouldn’t be doing my job well if I didn’t maximize my opportunities to spend time with children.  



What activity did you choose to do with the students?

We ate lunch together while we shared our hopes, dreams, and fears with each other. Students asked me questions about being an author/illustrator and told me something special they wanted me to know about their city, New Orleans. Then, each student created a self-portrait and a reflective I AM poem. We used charcoal and graphite pencils, transfer paper, and mixed-media paper.


Everyone accomplished the goal of completing the self-portrait. The students worked extraordinarily hard and were focused. If I could do it again, I would’ve taken a break between the portrait and the poem. Since they were so engaged in the self-portrait, their energy was dwindling by time we got to the poem.


What made this workshop different from other author visits you’ve done?

I felt very connected to the students because my family is from New Orleans, but since I didn’t grow up there, I felt like I was learning about myself as I worked with the students. It felt like an extension of home.


What advice did you give the young artists?

Make art. Write out feelings. Solve problems on the page. Life and death are in the power of words, so don’t speak negatively to self or others—encourage each other instead. Work hard. We are brothers and sisters, here to love one another and hold each other accountable for attaining our short and long term goals.


What was your biggest takeaway from the workshop?

Kids want to be seen. They yearn to be heard. They want to be told to keep going because we believe in them. They want to know their dreams are important to us, and we’ll help them.  I was reminded that kids are worth our investment, and we don’t give them enough, but they use every resource we do give to them, and they stretch it as far as they can. Imagine if we gave them everything they needed to be successful. What would the world look like then?



Here’s what some of Daria’s students had to say about the workshop:


“It was really fun… the techniques we used were really new to me, but super useful.” –Unnastazia

“I’ve never really been a fan of self portraits, so it was kind of fun to try it out and get out of my comfort zone.” –D. J.

“Daria helped me with being patient with myself and she told me that I’m a perfectionist and I’m hard on myself. So she helped me to be patient with myself.” –Rachel

“Since I already knew her, my experience was fun because my classmates got to meet her. when the writing part came that was my favorite part because I got to write about my feelings.” -Sherlae



Society of Young Inklings helps young writers—regardless of their circumstances—find their voices and make their mark on the world. Your financial donation will help us continue to host events like this one at Crocker Prep. Every dollar adds to the strength of our collective story. Join us in bringing the power of story to young writers. Click here to donate. All gifts are tax-deductible. (Tax ID: 46-2971012)



Daria Peoples-Riley’s first job was at nine years old in the children’s section of her hometown library in Paso Robles, California. She worked a little, but she mostly read picture books. Daria loved basketball, competing in oratorical contests, drawing, and painting. Her dad gave her art lessons in their garage on Rose Lane, and Daria’s mom rescued her first self-portrait from the kitchen trash can, and had it professionally framed the next day. Today, it hangs in her parents’ living room as a reminder that our life’s purpose almost always introduces itself to us as a child. Daria earned a BA in English from UC Santa Barbara, where she found herself shelving books in the library once again and reading the writings of many notable authors. After earning a Masters in Education and 10 years of teaching, Daria became a full-time author and illustrator. Daria lives in Las Vegas with her family.  

Daria’s debut picture book THIS IS IT will be published with Greenwillow/HarperCollins February 6, 2018. A companion book will follow in 2019. Daria is also the illustrator of WHAT GLORIA HEARD by Jessica M. Rinker, a forthcoming picture book biography about the life and work of Gloria Steinem. Find out more about Daria and her books at her website,






Bring the Power of Story to Young Writers

Celebrate #GivingTuesday with Society of Young Inklings! Today, you have the opportunity to give youth a meaningful gift that goes far beyond literacy.

Over the past fifteen years, I’ve had the incredible opportunity to work one-on-one with youth on their stories and poems. Through our collaboration, I’ve witnessed these writers developing writing skill and confidence. What makes me most proud, however, is how, through looking at the world through a writer’s eyes, these young people have developed empathy, self-awareness, adaptability, and optimism.


In order to write about conflict, one of my novelists considered the social dynamics in her middle school and wrestled through sticky friendship challenges. Another writer faced down anxiety and a few false starts before finally drafting through and revising a novel, delighting her family and friends with her hard-won confidence at her book launch. A third writer struggles with reading and writing, but has discovered his knack for storytelling. By leaning on his strengths, he’s finding ways to overcome his challenges, and the success is spilling over to many other areas of his life.


Regardless of our circumstances, we all have challenges to process. Writing is one of the most powerful tools for building resilience. Often, in order to achieve those benefits, however, we need an experienced guide.


We’ve identified two key challenges that we aim to tackle with our fundraised dollars.

  1. Youth in underserved communities with powerful, budding voices may not be aware of their gifts or the resources available to help develop them.
  2. In order to provide long-term, meaningful mentorships between pros and youth, we need dedicated dollars to support those programs.


#GivingTuesday is a global giving movement that has been built by individuals, families, organizations, businesses and communities in all 50 states and in countries around the world. Millions of people have come together to support and champion the causes they believe in and the communities in which they live.


Society of Young Inklings helps young writers—regardless of their circumstances—find their voices and make their mark on the world. We currently reach 900 students annually in over 230 programs.


Every dollar adds to the strength of our collective story. Join us in bringing the power of story to young writers. Click here to donate. All gifts are tax-deductible. (Tax ID: 46-2971012)


With our most sincere thanks,
Naomi Kinsman
Executive Director