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Society of Young Inklings is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering youth writers, ages 8-18. “When I was young and filling notebooks with stories, I wanted someone to take my dreams seriously,” says Naomi Kinsman, Founder and Executive Director. “Now, I have the privilege of granting wishes like my own by pairing youth writers with professionals who provide artistic mentorship and with our publishing team who deliver real-world publishing opportunities.”

Support Grit, Empathy, and Vision through Creative Writing

When passionate youth mentor with talented pros, they not only grow as writers, but they develop core skills that affect every area of their lives.  In Inklings programs, youth learn practical strategies for developing as artists, gain creative momentum, and tap into the power of their voices as they share their work with peers and a reading audience.

Dear champion of youth writers,

Thank you for considering an investment in youth and the development of their voices. When you support youth as they collaborate with professional writers, moving the big ideas from their hearts and heads onto the page, you achieve far more than simply providing a joyful experience. In fact, you’re changing lives.

I know, because as a second grader I didn’t know how to access my own voice. I could hardly even speak in class. But then, an author looked me in the eye and told me my story mattered. Her words inspired me to dream Society of Young Inklings to life. The impact of that one interaction has rippled outward through Society of Young Inklings’ mentorships for over eleven years. Who knows how much grit, empathy, and vision has been and will continue to be unleashed.

Words matter. Mentorship matters. And at Society of Young Inklings, we are honored to partner with you to extend our reach to youth who may not yet know the importance of their voices.

Every year, supporters like you make our annual Inklings Book contest and publishing program possible. This free-to-all program provides every applicant with personalized feedback about their work. Winners and finalists also receive editorial guidance for a final revision of their work. Our mentors help each youth writer more clearly see the strengths of their stories and poems. Then, we walk them through strategies to magnify those strengths. 

Through the revision process, these youth dig deep, making stand-out pieces even stronger. It’s not easy to push beyond good to great, and by doing so, writers develop grit, empathy, and vision. We cheer them on as they take a Hero’s Journey, face challenges, wrestle inner dragons, and come out the other side with gifts to take back to the rest of their lives.

Thank you, so much, for helping youth writers thrive.

My very best,

Naomi

Naomi Kinsman – Executive Director, Society of Young Inklings

Impact of the Inklings Book Contest

In 2020, 32 professional writers and authors volunteered time and expertise to reach out personally to each applicant who submitted a story or poem for the Inklings Book Contest. In our editorial letters, we celebrated each youth writer’s strengths and gave them tips and strategies to take the next step forward with their writing.

 

By the numbers in 2020:

Feedback Letters Sent to 3rd-9th grade writers

Cities Reached

States Reached

(In 3 countries!)

Winners work with one-on-one with a mentor to revise their high-quality work before publication. Here’s what a couple past winners had to say.

I worked a lot on structure. I decided to go wtih the reverso where the lines are the transitions themselves. The whole poem changed! I added in lines and took out old ones. That shifted the entire impact of the poem and made it more personal. I found my voice. 

Inés Garcia

Don’t be frustrated to make revisions just because you think your old story is good the way it is. Revisions are good. To be honest, I was a little frustrated in the beginning when we first started revising but now the story is a lot better than it was. I learned a lot more about foreshadowing, and that’s going to really help me with future stories.  

Benjamin Hayes

Contest-Related Learning Tools

The Inklings Book Contest impacts classrooms and writers even if they don’t ultimately decide to enter the contest in a particular year. To this point over 100 educators and their classrooms full of learners have engaged in our online prep course that walks writers through the steps of crafting and revising a short story or poem.

Like all of our Inklings Book Contest resources, this online course is 100% free of cost to all.

“I expected a form letter, but was surprised instead that Inklings mentors  carefully read the writing and gave each student specific feedback that was really helpful and encouraging.”


Zoe Sharp. 5th grade teacher at Stevenson PACT Elementary in Mountain View (or at Mountain View Whisman School District)

 Your support of the Inklings Book Contest helps us support an even wider range of youth writers with learning opportunities as they prepare for the contest, enter, and revise their work as winners and finalists.

Youth light up when professionals personally connect with them, recognizing their gifts and lighting a path forward with practical tools and strategies. Our dream is to multiply the impact and reach of the Inklings Book Contest in neighborhoods near and far, all the way around the world.

Will you support the next generation of writers as they find their voices and make their mark on the world?

Empower Youth Writers With …

Time

Volunteer! We offer small, medium and large volunteer opportunities year-round for youth, parents, educators and creative pros. Click through to fill out our volunteer interest form.

Treasure

Support us with a financial donation of any amount. Donations help us with outreach, volunteer training, and support our free annual Inklings Book Contest.

Connection

Follow us on your favorite social media channel! Your vote of confidence isn’t only social proof that you believe in our cause. By following us, you also help boost our reach and influence more lives.

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Join Society of Young Inklings Today!

You'll get special membership pricing on programs, exclusive monthly goodies, and an Inklings Book Contest editorial letter. We have educator memberships, too!

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