Launching The Chapters Program of The Young Writers Initiative (TYWI)
Near the end of July, I joined the board of The Young Writers Initiative (TYWI), a fiscally sponsored nonprofit organization dedicated to helping young writers learn and grow. As one of the three Directors of Chapters, I helped plan and launch the newfound chapters program. Through this, high school writers can start clubs of TYWI at their schools, helping spread the mission of TYWI and a love for writing to students around the world. This week’s post describes my experience as a Director of Chapters thus far.
TYWI was founded in January 2020 with the goal of inspiring, educating, and serving young writers. This amazing organization provides services to, hosts events for, and creates programs helping young authors across the world.
A friend told me about TYWI’s Winter Write-a-Thon, and ever since, I’ve been attending TYWI events and using their services. The organization is constantly growing in scope and reach, and there is an endless list of incredible goals. Learn more about TYWI at tywi.org.
Working at TYWI
When applications for the TYWI board opened earlier this year, I jumped at the opportunity to get involved with the organization.
Everyone at TYWI is incredibly ambitious, with great hopes for themselves and the organization. More importantly, they are dedicated to their goals and willing to put in the time and effort to achieve them. Some have published novels and some run Instagram accounts with tens of thousands of followers.
Working with people my age who have already accomplished so much keeps me on my toes and focused on my own ambitions.
The Goal of the Chapter Program
Many young writers feel alone in their interests and struggles, but the truth is, writing is an art adored by many students across the world. The point of the TYWI chapter program is to help young writers find a community where they can talk about writing.
One way the community is developed is through biweekly meetings which include writing challenges and activities. Chapters also work together to complete a major project, such as creating a literary magazine or a blog.
Additionally, TYWI chapters perform writing-related community service to spread a love for writing to the rest of their community. Chapters may host workshops for younger students, plan open mics, and more.
Everything TYWI chapters do spreads the mission of the organization to more writers. To start a chapter at your own school, go to: tywi.org/chapters.
Planning the Launch
At the surface, it may seem like the chapters program is just about sharing resources and a community with young writers. However, a lot of research and documentation had to take place before the launch of the program.
We had to figure out the relationship between TYWI and its chapters, decide the requirements to apply, and create a Chapter Constitution, all while getting accustomed to organization.
This all led to the much-anticipated opening of applications on August 15th, 2021.
Applications have been streaming in steadily since they opened last month. When applying, chapter founders have to answer questions that allow us to gauge their interest, qualifications, and experience with writing and TYWI.
Each writer has different circumstances. The school environment varies from application to application, and each applicant brings new experiences to the table. However, some things remain the same across all applications—they are detailed and passionate.
One other common theme is the wish to create and foster an in-person community of young writers. TYWI has always been a place for a virtual community, but a physical community has its own feel, and the chapters program will help build that.
With the program still in its initial stages, we have a lot to learn. There will undoubtedly be obstacles to overcome, but there will also be milestones to celebrate. Being able to make an impact on young writers around the world is empowering, and I’m really excited to see this program and organization grow!