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I think it's important that people who write for kids actually talk to kids, which means listening to them, too.

 — MAC BARNETT

At long last, writers can get free advice from strangers without approaching them in the street.

— LEMONY SNICKET

Young Editors Project

(YEP) 

where young readers get to be part of the professional editorial process 

ENDORSEMENTS

"It drives me crazy that no one in publishing ever talks to any kids other than their own. This is a perfect way to connect the people who make things with the people they make things for. We have needed this for a long time."

Taylor Norman, Editor, Chronicle Books

“At long last, writers can get free advice from strangers without approaching them in the street.”

Lemony Snicket, author of a series of unfortunate events and many other boooks for children and adults

“I think it’s important that people who write for kids actually talk to kids (which means listening to them, too). The student editorial committee is a great way to get feedback from young readers, to give students valuable editorial experience, and to support an indispensable youth writing center, all at the same time.”

Mac Barnett, AUTHOR OF Caldecott HONOR BOOKS EXTRA YARN, SAM AND DAVE DIG A HOLE, AND MANY OTHERS

"I don't think I could have finished The Lifters without student readers. They were invaluable."

Dave Eggers, author of books for children & adults 

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"It was really fun to see a book printed on regular paper and have a chance to read it before anyone else. And then it was amazing to see that the author used some of my comments in the final book."

Ajani, 826michigan student, grade 8, Detroit

 

"Now that the book is finished, I'm definitely going to read it again!"

Lucie, 826michigan student, grade 4, Detroit

 
 

Back story

The International Alliance of Youth Writing Centers is a network of organizations worldwide which serve school-aged students with writing and tutoring programs, including those in the 826 National network, founded by author Dave Eggers and educator Ninive Calegari. The young people who attend classes and workshops at these centers are public school students ages 6-18.

They are also voracious readers and astute editors. Over the years, many children’s book authors have taught at these centers, and have found our students to be exceptionally enthusiastic readers who provide valuable insight.

In 2017, while writing The Lifters, a middle-grade book, Dave Eggers assembled a committee of young editors aged 8-12. He gave them his manuscript and asked for their feedback. With red pens in hand, they marked up the book, and these notes made the book stronger.

“Student readers are especially important, because their enthusiasm is so pure,” Eggers says. “One young reader, for example, put hearts all over the book to mark the parts she liked. She noted places where she thought I could improve the book, of course, but the enthusiasm meant the world to me. Now I can’t imagine writing something for young people without getting their input.”

Along with Chronicle Books editor Taylor Norman and noted author Mac Barnett — a former executive director at 826LA — Eggers decided this would be an important service to provide to authors writing for young people around the world. It gives young author-editors a powerful and authentic experience as editors in the professional publishing world.

The program, run by Amanda Uhle, former Executive Director at 826michigan, now invites more collaboration between young people and the adults who write for them.

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If you are an author or publisher interested in this service, or if you are a young reader (aged 6 to 18) interested in participating, please be in touch with Amanda Uhle to learn more:

amanda@thehawkinsproject.org

We look forward to hearing from you!