Every two or three months, my local library publishes a literary magazine called Wordplay, as a part of the Teen Writer’s Club. We recently finished an edition for August, in which I wrote a segment about my involvement in TYWI, an organization meant to uplift young writers and artists everywhere. I decided I wanted to include this on my blog as well, so that more people would benefit. In that case, read on for more information on this blooming nonprofit!
It was in January of this past year that I was scrolling through Instagram and found a neat little opportunity to be involved in, courtesy of a writing account that I followed. This opportunity was called The Young Writers Initiative, and they were hiring board members to help organize a safe space for writers, poets, and artists alike. I was immediately intrigued, because it’s always been my goal to inspire and assist other creators like me, and so I filled out an application on their website, aiming to be an editing volunteer or beta reading member.
I was given the role of Marketing Director, because of my experience with Instagram, and I have come to love this position. I thoroughly enjoy interacting with our followers and posting about new services we offer– free editing and beta reading for novels, Instagram Live workshops with talented writers and freelancers, an awesome 8 week mentorship program and summer camp, cover designs, open mic nights, and so much more! With the help of a second Marketing Director, the account has grown to over a thousand followers and we have also expanded to Wattpad, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
My favorite aspect of the Initiative is holding contests for our Lit Journal, the first of which has been printed in July as our first ever publication with themes centered around human emotion: Enamor, Vexation, Desolate, and Jubilee. Our second journal will be in December, focused on Self-Portrait and including the themes of Spirituality, Culture, Sexuality, and Phsyicality. The entries we’ve received are so incredibly diverse, and I am so proud of the work that all the board members have achieved together. Our founder, Riya Cyriac, has done an amazing job with managing the entire organization– we’re even on our way to becoming an official non profit!
Other opportunities we have launched include collaboration stories, to be featured in September, and our Black Lives Matter project, which is dedicated to amplifying black voices and stories by compiling writing, art, videos, and music from young creatives all over the world. We are also launching our merch shop in July, so if you’re interested in some writer swag, go check that out! I know that I’ll definitely be embarking on a little shopping spree when everything is up and running… probably not great for my bank account, but oh well. It’ll be worth it for the journals.
Overall, becoming a part of The Young Writers Initiative was one of the best decisions I have ever made, and I encourage you to visit our website: tywi.org. We are always looking for more volunteers–whether you’re wanting to be an editor, judge, workshop teacher, cover designer, beta reader, or book reviewer! And, to be showered with updates, don’t forget to follow our Instagram: @tywiorg