Learn More and Register: Craft a Winning Story or Poem

Learn More and Register: Craft a Winning Story or Poem


In this FREE course from Society of Young Inklings, our founder, Naomi Kinsman, walks educators and their students through everything they need to know to prepare a short story or poem to submit to the Inklings Book Contest. We walk through everything from choosing the right idea, developing characters, building a story-world, and revising for submission. NEED TO KNOW DATES: ⇢ Early January: The contest opens for submissions! 🎉 ⇢ March 15: Last day to submit to the Inklings Book Contest. What is Society of Young Inklings? Society of Young Inklings is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering youth writers, ages 8-18. Young Inklings have stories to tell. They might have stories pouring out of them so fast that they don’t know what to do with them all. Or perhaps they're just starting out on their writing journey. Either way, the big ideas in their hearts and heads matter. Our community of creators provides writer-to-writer connections and support to help youth writers develop their craft. We provide a range of resources for educators, too. You’re pouring your passion and energy into your students, wanting the very best for them. We’re here to partner with you in that incredibly important mission.


TO BEGIN: CHOOSE YOUR IDEA ⇛ How to Choose an Idea
DRAFT YOUR STORY ⇛ How to Start a Story ⇛ How to Create a Character ⇛ How to Create a Fictional World ⇛ How to Create a Cast ⇛ How to Create a Plot
DRAFT YOUR POEM ⇛ How to Start a Poem
REVISE YOUR STORY ⇛ Show, Don't Tell ⇛ How to Revise a Story
REVISE YOUR POEM ⇛ Show, Don't Tell ⇛ How to Revise a Poem
FINALIZE YOUR SUBMISSION ⇛ How to Finish a Story or Poem
I N K L I N GS B O O K C O N T E S T ⇢ For writers in grades 3 - 9 ⇢ Winners are published in the Inklings Book ⇢ Finalists are published on the Young Inklings website ⇢ Every applicant receives personalized feedback

What's the Course All About?

This collection of games was originally developed to help youth prepare short stories and poems for our annual Inklings Book Contest. Educators raved about how the activities motivated their students and stretched their writing craft skills, and we thought: Why not leave the course open for a limited time, giving more educators the opportunity to make use of these resources?

How Might I Use the Videos?

You can share just one game, or the full series with students in your classroom or library, walking them through every step of the creative writing process: from choosing the right idea, to developing characters, to building a story-world, and finally, revising to make their work the best it can be. A few of the videos focus specifically on word choice and poetry, as well. Within the course, we provide access to a private YouTube playlist that you can share with your students if you'd like them to work independently and access the videos from home.

Each lesson includes a short game facilitated via video and a downloadable PDF that you and your students can use to extend the thinking introduced in the game. Whether you'd like to share the mini-course with one student, a small group, or your whole class, you'll find easy-to-use strategies for making the most of the material.

What's the Inklings Book Contest?

The application window is currently open for our free-to-all Inklings Book Contest! Each year, between January and March, writers in 3rd-9th grade are invited to submit stories or poems. 20 winners are chosen for revision mentorships with our pros as well as publication in our annual book. Finalists receive editorial letters and publication on our website.

The contest deadline is March 15.

How can my writers submit their work?

You may send in your students’ submissions as a class set, or have them submit individually. See our streamlined application to send in a class set of entries at this page. Each of your students will receive personalized, supportive feedback, even if they are not winners or finalists.

Happy writing!

P.S. Please spread the word about this FREE mini-course and the contest with your educator friends. Our goal is to provide access and support for as many youth writers as possible. When you spread the word, you make a huge difference.

When does the course start and end?

It starts now, and is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.

How long do I have access to the course?

For two years, or as long as the course is available on our site, whichever is longer. After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course - across any and all devices you own.

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