The mission of Richmond Young Writers is for teens to harness the power of language through teamwork, creativity, and the bravery to learn about themselves.
The nonprofit, aimed at kids ages 8-18, was started back in 2009 by two creative writing teachers at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond, Bird Cox + Valley Haggard. Bird is now the co-director.
She and her team of local teachers, authors, artists and volunteers host a variety of one-day or weeks-long workshops for all kinds of budding creatives.
One of Richmond Young Writers’ most well-known programs is the Picture Book Project, an annual collaboration which starts with stories written by students ages 11-17. Their words are then brought to life by local illustrators + published through Richmond Young Writers Press. They’re available to buy online, with proceeds going towards the class.
You can sign up your young writer for upcoming in-person programs at their facility as well as virtual workshops on their calendar.
The nonprofit also just joined six others in hosting the first Fearless Fest, where students could get to know themselves by trying out writing, art, yoga, or even skateboarding. Bird says they’re planning on doing another one next year.
In Bird’s words: “What’s more brave than trying something new?”
If you’re not a young writer, you can join Life in 10 Minutes, where Valley hosts weekly virtual adult writing classes. Or — if you’re not a writer at all — the 18th annual Bizarre Market Holiday is kicking off this Saturday at the Richmond Young Writers’ location, 2707 W. Cary St.
The pop-up market will run daily from 12-6 p.m. through Christmas Eve. All goods are handmade in Richmond or nearby cities, and proceeds go to Richmond Young Writers + the local creative community.