Dear Teen Me is out there…

The new Dear Teen Me book is fantastic.  You should get it.  All these excellent YA writers (me, too) sending letters to their young selves? Heartbreaking often. Hilarious sometimes. Round and round, great.  And, I think, instructive for young people who want to be writers themselves. What’s the major lesson here?  Don’t stop. You’re going to be okay. Write.

Yes, I also think the “Dear Teen Me” model makes for a sweet writing prompt. It’s one I’m going to start giving to my students.  Imagine an incident that happened to you as a teen.  Tell it using great concrete detail. Finish up with some reflection on what you took from the incident, set a theme that might be broadly significant to your reader. The stories on the site and in the book are excellent models.

What I’ve found in writing a couple of these letters is that I was different people at different times during my teen years. Sometimes I was a geek in love.  Other times I was a freak breakdancing by a state highway. Then again, I was a jock who played football well.  I haven’t even scratched the surface of my infatuation with the cello (and the Mormon cellist who sat next to me — she was fantastic — not that great at cello, but a fantastic girl…).

In fact, this is a prompt.  If you want to send me your own Dear Teen Me letter, I’d love to read it!  500 words!

I haven’t even written about this guy.

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