OUR HISTORY

Richmond Young Writers was founded in the summer of 2009 at Chop Suey Bookstore with the intention of introducing young people to the joy of creative writing through workshops taught by professional writers in the community. Our workshops are now held next door to Chop Suey in the Richmond Young Writers' writing room in Carytown.

Full and partial scholarships are offered in each workshop to ensure that all students have the opportunity to participate in our programs.

We have had the pleasure of writing with young people ages 8-17 from Richmond, Henrico, Glen Allen, Ashland, Chesterfield, Midlothian, Montpelier, Powhatan, Moseley, Mechanicsville, Afton, Rockville, Gloucester, Charlottesville and more.

WHAT WE BELIEVE

Richmond Young Writers believes in the power of the word, in the power of language.

We believe that words make us laugh, think, sing, stretch, question, believe, play, hope.

We believe that writing stories helps us better understand the narrative arc of a day, that poetry illuminates the darkly hidden corners of the rooms around us, that creating characters provides a view inside the interior depths of someone outside of ourselves.

We believe that words form bridges that lead us over the rocky, treacherous, lush, terrain that exists within ourselves and the foreign territories that are the people around us.  

We believe words bond friendships and create empathy, giving us a chance to walk in someone else’s flip-flops, high-top sneakers, platform heels, across classrooms, across grade levels, across countries and borders and economic and social and political and religious divides.

We believe that by becoming fluent, not only in our native tongue, but in the private language we speak as individuals we’ll come to better understand the workings of our own quirks, our own personalities, our own imaginations.   

We believe that by sharing our words, we’ll be seen, we’ll be heard, we’ll offer an opportunity to understand and to be understood, that writing is a blue-print for living, a way of stepping into parallel lives and worlds in order to discover which we truly wish to inhabit, to forge, to build.

We believe words have the power to heal, to soothe, to mend, to bridge the gap between friends and enemies, outcasts and frenemies. We believe in the power of passing notes and writing letters, making lists and documenting daydreams, capturing nightmares and lassoing them with the pen onto the page, working with the act of taming the wild and setting our wildness free—in notebooks, between snacks, surrounded by books with other writers committing the same brave, revolutionary acts on paper, bound and loose leaf.

We believe that all of this best begins in childhood, before we get too busy, before it’s squelched, buried, forgotten. We believe that this is what the children, the young writers we work with, have all along been teaching us.

As presented by Richmond Young Writers at Talk 20, May 2013