Teen Writers Group

Members of the teen club at the Olney library pose after a guest appearance from author Lisa Maxwell (back row, second from left)

Constellation has honored the Maryland Writers’ Association (MWA) Teen Writing Club program with a $500 grant under its Community Champions Program. Constellation, an Exelon company that supplies energy to homes and businesses in Maryland and throughout the United States, awarded the grant to help the program expand, to pay for teen members to attend the MWA writing conference in March, and to help subsidize a new anthology of teen work.

Members of the teen clubs are able to share their writing and get feedback from their peers, as well as from the facilitator. Meetings also include writing exercises, conversations about the writing process, and visits from guest authors, usually MWA members. Some teens join the club for a year or two to give their writing a boost, while others have been members for as long as five years. One teen, Melanie Batchelor, sold her novel, Remember Me, to a publisher while a member of the program.

The program includes two clubs in Anne Arundel County (Annapolis and Odenton), nine clubs in Montgomery County (Bethesda, Burtonsville, Gaithersburg, Germantown, Kensington, Olney, Potomac, Silver Spring, and White Oak), and a new club set to open in Baltimore County (Catonsville) in January. MWA hopes to use the grant to expand to other parts of the state.

MWA, an association of 400 Maryland writers and editors, began the Teen Club Program in Baltimore County in 2010 with a single pilot club. It has now grown to include 12 clubs serving over 100 young creative writers age 11-17. All clubs are cosponsored with a local library, with the library providing space and logistical support, while MWA provides funding and a volunteer leader to facilitate club meetings. MWA also collects, edits and publishes the work of teens in annual anthologies, which are provided free to contributors. The Teen Club Program charges no fees to members of any kind.

For more information, please contact the MWA teen program at teenwriters@marylandwriters.org