What’s the Best Way to Grow as a Young Writer?

NOTE: Coaching registration is now closed. We plan to open it again in June, but you can read about it below and join the waiting list. 

How do successful people master a skill?

If you want to learn how to do archery, shoot basketball, drive, or play the piano, you can’t just read several articles and books on the topic to know how.

You need a more experienced person to get down in the trenches with you and show you how to become the best you can be.

Why should fiction writing be any different?

Introducing KP Coaching

What if you could meet with an experienced writer once a week to receive personal feedback and guidance on your manuscript instead of having to scour the internet to solve your writing problems?

We’re not talking about enlisting a beta reader.

A beta reader has the power to point you in the right direction. A coach can conduct you to your destination ten times faster than you could on your own.

We’re talking about someone who will hone in on your struggles and workshop pieces with you until they’re solid.

We’re talking about someone who will give you writing exercises designed to help you conquer the challenges you’re facing.

We’re talking about someone who’s been writing for years and knows the shortcuts so you won’t need to spend years learning through trial and error.

We’re talking about someone who can dramatically increase your growth as a writer.

In our coaching program, you’ll sign up with a specific coach who will work with you for 6 months, using your manuscript to teach you various writing skills and improve your understanding of the craft.

Click the button below to join the waitlist, or keep scrolling to learn more.

Why Study Creative Writing?

Even if you never get published, becoming more proficient at writing will help you in life.

As Steve Denning writes in the Harvard Business Review:

“Analysis might excite the mind, but it hardly offers a route to the heart … Leadership involves inspiring people to act in unfamiliar, and often unwelcome, ways. Mind-numbing cascades of numbers or daze-inducing PowerPoint slides won’t achieve this goal. Even the most logical arguments usually won’t do the trick. But effective storytelling often does. In fact, in certain situations nothing else works. Although good business arguments are developed through the use of numbers, they are typically approved on the basis of a story—that is, a narrative that links a set of events in some kind of causal sequence.”

Businesses understand and value the power of storytelling in leadership and marketing. The skills you glean from fiction writing will equip you even if you enter the business world.

Not only that, but mastering how to tell a riveting story will make you a more engaging conversationalist.

Thousands of parents pay for music lessons even though they don’t expect their kids to become the next Mozart or earn a living from music.

Why do parents do this?

Because they realize that learning to play an instrument has proven benefits outside the field of music and will make their children more musically appreciative, interesting, and skilled at whatever they decide to do. 

Fiction writing is the same way.

What We Will Be Coaching You in

Have you ever felt STUCK on one of these questions?

  • Is this a solid story premise?
  • How do I turn my novel concept into a reality?
  • How do I discern what to fix while I’m editing?
  • How do I write in a professional and engaging style?
  • How do I bring my characters to life?
  • What does it mean to “show, don’t tell”?
  • How do I authentically weave my faith into my writing?

Tackling these quandaries without an experienced writer to advise you can be frustrating and confusing.

That’s what we want to solve.

How the Coaching Will Work

Students enroll for a 6-month period so that they have enough time to achieve measurable growth as writers.

At the beginning of the coaching period, you and your coach will convene to figure out tangible goals you can aim to accomplish within those 6 months. This could be anything from learning how to edit your work effectively, to how to create realistic and compelling characters, to how to infuse your faith in your storytelling more powerfully.

Then, your coach will work with you on your piece for one hour per week.

How this process will look depends on the coach. Some will communicate through email, where you’ll send your writing to them and they’ll return it with comments. Others will operate via phone/Skype, where they will orally walk you through how to craft compelling fiction.

Peruse the coaches below to decide which approach and areas of expertise best suit your needs.

Meet Your Writing Coach

Hope Ann is the self-published author of the Legends of Light series and has several e-books and a print book in circulation.

With over seven years of writing behind her, she has successfully completed three courses about writing, including two from the Institute of Children’s Literature. She has been writing for Kingdom Pen since late 2015 and helps the occasional author polish a submission before acceptance. She has also critiqued the writing of many friends over the years and unofficially mentored others in a wide variety of aspects related to writing, from prose to outlining to plot arcs.

As a coach, Hope’s strengths are in the subtext of prose, with a focus on showing instead of telling, especially when it comes to emotions and themes. She also concentrates on the structure of storytelling, including novel arcs, character arcs, and cliche twisting.

Her coaching sessions will be conducted as a mixture of live critique on current works-in-progress, be it plot or prose, and availability through email for random questions.

Josiah DeGraaf is a graduate of Patrick Henry College and a high school English teacher at a classical charter school. He currently serves as Kingdom Pen’s Editor-in-Chief.

Over the past ten years, he’s written three novels, six novellas, and more than a dozen short stories. He’s currently pursuing publication for his latest novel.

He loves to work with students one-on-one and help bring out their full writing potential.

As a coach, Josiah’s strengths are in structuring a clear plotline, weaving powerful Christian themes into a story in a way that isn’t preachy or cliched, creating realistic and grounded character motivations, and keeping the reader engaged in a suspenseful story that pushes the protagonists to make meaningful choices.

His coaching sessions will be conducted as live calls via phone or Skype where he will go through an existing project and provide a combination of critique and instruction dependent on the student’s needs. Email is also an option for students who prefer that or for random questions that pop up during the week.

Brianna Storm Hilvety is a professional editor, writer, and bibliophile. As an Associate Editor at Castle Gate Press and the Copy Editor for Kingdom Pen, she has honed writing of all types and lengths—from fiction to nonfiction, and short pieces to novels. She is also a Silver Member of The Christian PEN, where she has taken courses on the editing craft and has access to hundreds of veteran editors who supply advice on the spot.

Although she’s had experience working with authors of different skill levels and backgrounds, her heart beats for young writers who aspire to change the world with their words. She loves interacting with these passionate, brave souls and encouraging them along their journey.

As a coach, she specializes in aiding writers to refine their style, master grammar, eradicate mistakes, reduce wordiness, and polish all of the nitty-gritty details that make prose either clunky or smooth. Additionally, she is astute at evaluating whether the beginning of a story or scene is gripping, and whether characters have emotional depth.

Her coaching sessions will be conducted via email in the format of a critique, where she will comb through an existing project and provide instruction for improvement.

Enrolling in the Program

1. Fill out the form below before midnight on December 21st to apply for a 6-month coaching period. We ask that students commit to 6 months so that they’ll have enough time to achieve measurable growth in this program. You’ll be asked to specify your coach preferences and provide a writing sample so we can see where you are as a writer.

2. Once you’re approved for the program and matched with a coach, we’ll finalize payments. Coaching costs $30-34 per hour depending on which payment plan you take.

If you pay for coaching on a monthly basis, it will be $150 per month for the 6 months of the program (approx. $34 per week). However, if you pay for all 6 months at once, we’ll offer the coaching at the reduced price of $800 total (approx. $30 per week). That’s $100 savings!

3. Starting the week of January 3rd, your coach will devote one hour per week to helping you with your writing. How this hour is spent will be up to you and your coach. Read the coach descriptions carefully to decide which approach will work best for you.

4. If you sign up for the 6-month plan and decide after a couple weeks that this program isn’t right for you, for the first month we’ll offer a full refund for the rest of the program. You’ll still have to pay for the weeks you’ve already met with your coach, but everything else will be returned to you.

A limted number of slots are available in the program, and we’re closing registration on December 21st.

That means the slots are going on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you want to secure your slot in the program—or with a certain coach—don’t wait.

We realize this is an investment that many of you will need to discuss with your parents. Think of this like getting a personal sports coach or music tutor. It’s a big investment, but wasting years trying to master how to write well on your own is the larger cost.

Questions about this program? Email: josiahdegraaf@kingdompen.org

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I miss a week?

You get up to 2 makeup sessions per 6-month period.

What if a coach misses a week due to sickness or an unforeseen conflict?

If this happens, we’ll schedule a makeup session. These makeup sessions won’t count toward your above limit.

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