Vanessa is a true master of her craft. She is a blast to work with, completely trustworthy and utterly authentic. To work with Vanessa is a privilege; you just want to soak up all her talent, and bottle it up for yourself! She is an inspiration.Sarina Fierro, Head of Lower Elementary, Curtis School
Vanessa has a gift for inspiring even the most reluctant writer and her passion for writing is infectious. She is a favorite workshop leader at our Young Writers’ Conferences.Julie Moore & Rena Svetic, Young Writers’ Conference Founders
Vanessa is truly a one-of-a-kind teacher. She’s extremely organized, communicates ideas effectively, helps motivate, and has a lively, engaging teaching style that brings out the best efforts in all of her students.Howard Tager
Ms. Ziff is definitely not just my teacher and tutor; she is my mentor.Lexi 7th Grade, Harvard Westlake
Ms. Ziff maintains a good balance of knowing when to give more help and when to insist that you rise to the challenge of the learning situation. She instills confidence, honors excellence, and respects effort.Kenneth 8th Grade, Harvard Westlake
My son learned more about writing and literary appreciation from Ms. Ziff in fifth grade than in any other year of school. I wish all teachers had Vanessa’s passion for teaching and inspiring!Kim Ford
Ms. Vanessa has challenged me to stretch my writing and I am excited for what I will do next.Evan, 3rd Grade
While we continue to be impressed by Vanessa’s many attributes, it is her high energy level, extraordinary patience, and passion for what she does that make her truly unique.Melissa and Rob Weiler
All of us remember teachers who inspired us to greater heights and who influenced our lives. Vanessa Ziff Lasdon has played this role in my daughters' lives.Jack Tauber, M.D.
Ms. Ziff is always organized, resourceful, and ready for anything. She believes in a process, [...] the best of all being the Ms. Ziff approach, which makes her spectacular.Kenneth 8th Grade, Harvard Westlake
It's obvious that Vanessa is a wordsmith: "Write. Observe. Revise. Discover...W.O.R.D."  These are the four essential ingredients for becoming a writer; two of them about the work (writing and revising) and two of them about the joy (observing and discovering.) Vanessa accomplishes it all.  Julie Larios, award-winning poet and children’s author
Whether it’s teaching a student to become a more vivid creative writer, a more effective analytical writer, or a more selective business writer, Vanessa can do it all.Meli and Stephen Rose
Ms. Ziff’s friendly demeanor and enthusiasm made communicating easy and learning exciting. She taught us to understand and appreciate the material, and have fun in the process.Alivia 8th Grade, Harvard Westlake
Vanessa Ziff Lasdon possesses the dynamic combination of an incisive intellect and boundless passion when it comes to teaching her craft and sharing skills with her students.MaryLynn Richmond
Vanessa is high-energy smarts and charm, the kind of writer and teacher who captures and captivates readers of all ages.New York Times bestselling author, Cynthia Leitich Smith
Ms. Ziff set the foundation for my analytical, constructive, and creative skills. Whether writing a sonnet or writing an essay, I still have her lessons in my mind.Kenneth 8th Grade, Harvard Westlake
Vanessa captured the essence of what I wanted to relay on my site without sounding trite, unlike my experience with previous writers.Martin Pugh, Musician
Ms. Ziff always pushed me to do my best, and never let me slack off.  She introduced me to my love of writing and gave me the confidence I needed both academically and in myself.Georgia 9th Grade, The Buckley School
Vanessa’s methods are creative, thorough and innovative. She makes writing fun and has turned our daughter’s “like” of writing into a true “LOVE”.The Altmans

Vanessa is an outstanding writer and a joy to work with.

Aimee Trudeau, Web Developer, Kizmato.com
I know that the many fun and challenging lessons I’ve learned from Ms. Ziff will help me achieve my goal of one day being a professional writer and filmmaker.Jaren S. 7th Grade, The Buckley School
Vanessa’s greatest ability is to help each student realize his or her own untapped potential. It’s the stuff that changes lives!Jacqueline Frohlich
Vanessa got my 8-year old son excited and intrigued to dig deeper into his experiences and bring his thoughts to life. Now Evan’s words dance and sing, which makes me want to dance and sing!Sally Micelotta
Vanessa transformed our son Josh from a decent writer into an excellent writer.  We wholeheartedly recommend Vanessa and her ability to draw out the best in your child’s writing ability.Jill and Larry Krutchik
The skills Vanessa taught my son--particularly the value of revising many times […] attention to detail, and high standards—are still with Nico several years later.Liz McNicoll, Attorney, Paramount Pictures
I honestly don’t know what kind of a writer and reader I would be without the tools I learned with Ms. Ziff. She was always a very understanding, rigorous, and involved teacher, and an incredible mentor.Maddie 9th Grade, Marlborough School
Having an eight-year old highly gifted boy was not enough to make him put all those brilliant ideas on paper. Daniel feels constantly challenged by Vanessa and that ignites him.Liliana Benitez
What our daughter values most about her time in Vanessa's class is being inspired to become an organized writer who could convey her thoughts in a meaningful manner.Laurie and Chris Harbert
The writing skills my daughter, now excelling in ninth grade English Honors, left Vanessa’s class with continue to be an invaluable set of resources.Betsy Leva
Vanessa’s vast skills, complete dedication, and clear purpose construct a solid core for every student she teaches. Her passionate nature produces both a fun and rewarding learning experience.Michele Noble, Director, Writer, Filmmaker
I learned as much from teaching with Vanessa as any of her students under her guidance. Where so many others fall back on old tricks, Vanessa taps into her extensive experience to invent new methodologies for each and every one of her clients.Patrick Kieffer, Fifth Grade – English & History, The Packer Collegiate Institute

10 Safe Outlets for All-Age Youth to Publish Writing Online and In Print

Hello, 2013! Year of the Snake! Let’s make this year a time of steady progress and attention to detail, of focus and discipline in achieving what we set out to create. 

Year of the Snake, White Background

There’s A Writer In All of Us

Everyone has a voice. And, what you have to say matters. You should have a place to tell your story. That’s why I’m devoting this first WRITE post of the New Year to kids, tweens and teens everywhere who are looking for a way to publish their writing and connect with a likeminded word-loving community, both online and offline. Never before have so many places and spaces been available for youth to publish their work! Parents, teachers, students, aunts, uncles, grandparents – everyone! Share this post with those you know who love to write and who need an outlet. Knowing where and how to publish enables us to set goals for ourselves throughout the year that culminate in accomplishments we can feel proud of!

Safety & Creativity, Above All Else

The following resources are 100% safe spaces for kids and teens to play with and participate in storytelling’s many forms. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned writer, you will find a great community of peeps here.

 

10 Outlets for Kids, Tweens and Teens to Publish Writing Online and In Print

kidpubKidPub is reputedly the world’s largest and oldest writing site for kids, tweens and teens. As a membership site, they charge $12.95 per year to publish stories, enter contests, comment on each other’s work, and add to the site’s never-ending stories. At their online bookstore, KidPub Press helps young authors publish full works, and provide the works, too: editing, layout, cover design, printing, marketing, sales on Amazon and KidPub.com – even quarterly royalty payments!

 

New Moon GirlsNew Moon Girls is a subscription-based online community and print magazine for girls, ages 8-15. New Moon’s inspiring mission is to help girls develop their full potential through self-discovery, creativity and community. Girls can share poetry, stories, artwork, videos, and conversation in adult-moderated discussions that are meant to challenge cultural stereotypes, build self-esteem, and celebrate individuality. Both the magazine and website are led by a Girls Editorial Board. Monthly access to New Moon’s safe social network starts at just $4.99.

 

smithmagSmith Mag and Smith Teens are both homes for snappy, poignant storytelling, with a focus on personal narrative. SMITH is best known as the creators of the Six-Word Memoir® project.

 

yarn_bannerYARN, or the Young Adult Review Network, is an award-winning literary journal that publishes exceptional short fiction, poetry, creative essays, and author interviews for ages 14-18, written by both teens and their favorite young adult authors. YARN is big into community discussion!

 

FIgmentSimilar to YARN, Figment is an online community where young adults can share writing, connect with other readers, and discover new stories and published authors. Whatever you’re into, from sonnets to mysteries, from sci-fi stories to cell phone novels, you can find it all here. Mobile app available, too! Figment is also gearing up to offer users the ability to share artistic content, including photography, original art, and films. Like YARN, Figment boasts a loyal community of avid readers and writers.

 

rookiemagRookie Mag is an innovative website with monthly-themed content that’s specifically for teen girls. This online publication, like Figment and YARN, features writing, photography, illustrations, videos, and community feedback from readers and staff. Postings are updated three times a day, five days a week.

 

 

teeninkTeen Ink has been an established national magazine, book series and website devoted to writing, art, and discussion forums for ages 13-19 since 1989. Teen Ink does not charge for submissions or publications, and all submissions are considered for Teen Ink’s print magazine, as well. Equally cool, Teen Ink offers young adult writers the opportunity to submit an entire novel or nonfiction work for feedback and potential publication. The non-profit relies entirely on its dedicated nationwide readership and boasts the largest distribution of any publication of its kind.

 

CK-MastheadCreative Kids magazine is the nation’s largest magazine of games, stories, poetry and artwork by and for kids, ages 8-16. What’s more, students from all over the world write in to the magazine, so the publication is truly global in scope and perspective.

 

stonesoupStone Soup is a leading print publisher of high-quality, creative expression by young writers and artists, ages 8-13 in the U.S. and Canada, but with subscribers in a total of forty countries worldwide. Stone Soup publishes bimonthly from January through November.

 

skippingstonesBecause I couldn’t have said it any better, “Skipping Stones is a nonprofit magazine for youth that encourages communication, cooperation, creativity and celebration of cultural and environmental richness. It provides a playful forum for sharing ideas and experiences among youth from different countries and cultures.” In a single issue, you might find a Native American folktale, drawings from Lithuania, and a letter from South Africa. Book reviews, current events, and literature guides for parents and teachers also abound in each publication. Cooler still, non-English writings are accompanied by translations to encourage language acquisition. Like Stone Soup, Skipping Stones publishes bimonthly during the school year.

 

Quick General Submission Tips

  1. Be your most creative and don’t be afraid to speak your mind.
  2. Follow all guidelines when submitting work. Editors will not review or respond to materials that are improperly submitted. Remember – they are looking for the very best material.
  3. Your work can often include images. Read guidelines carefully for details.
  4. Sometimes you may have to include a separate cover page, particularly for print publication. Again, read the guidelines!
  5. If you go the print route, keep a copy of your work, since it’s likely to not be returned, unless you submit it with what we call in the publishing world a SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope.) Also, be sure to mail with confirmation delivery.

 

The start of a new year is the perfect time to make a completion plan for your work and to feel the satisfaction of getting it out there in the world! Good luck and have fun!

Happy 2013!

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