Posts tagged ‘Young Writers Group’

We’re Moving!





WriteLikeCRAZY is packing up and moving to a new home!  

Because my goal is to focus on writing and teaching fiction, I decided to merge my two blogs into one powerhouse of information and inspiration!  

What will change:   

  • WriteLikeCRAZY blog will still be here so you can find archived prompts, tips and links like before
  • Writers Inspired will be home to how-to tips on the craft of writing and submitting your fiction work, for both young adult and adult writers
  • Writers Inspired will occasionally host published authors through interviews or guest posts on the writing, organizing and publishing processes, plus awesome Book Giveaways!!
  • Writers Inspired will also offer games, exercises and prompts for young adult writers (and their teachers!!) to use
  • Writers Inspired will be like an online writers group where you can read and share helpful topics, like:  unique ways to find ideas, dealing with procrastination, the latest in writing contests and new markets, tools and resources for fiction writers, tips on tracking submissions and all aspects of the fiction writing craft.
  • Writers Inspired will have one page for young writers with links, prompts and advice PLUS one page for teachers with lesson plan ideas, games to energize the class and notes on what I’ve learned as a Creative Writing Teacher
  • Writers Inspired will also have a list of events for young writers and teachers in the DuPage County (IL) area

What you need to do:  

  • Go to Writers Inspired
  • Click “Follow”
  • Be surprised by the updates you get in your email inbox or Google Reader every time a new post appears
  • Leave lots of comments! This new blog is for you – the readers-and I want to provide content that you’re interested in reading: )
  • Send your friends and teachers!

So, thank you to my current and future followers! Now, let’s get on the ROAD!!!  


April 15, 2010 at 10:55 am 1 comment

More NaNo Prompts

Put your character in a ritzy restaurant wearing dirty jeans and flip flops…

November 12, 2009 at 12:25 am 1 comment

Ready, Set, NaNo!

OK, I’ll make this brief, I’m saving up all my words for NaNo, ya know!

TheSecretoftheSacredScarab_coverOn Tuesday, November 10, stop in and talk to published author, Fiona Ingram. Fiona will give you writing tips and use examples from her newest novel: The Secret of the Sacred Scarab. And if you like Egyptian themes, you’re in for a treat! Fiona will also provide a long list of sites and books to check out to feed that Sphinx craze!

Then come back here throughout the month of November for some rockin’ novel prompts.

I’ll have quick, intriguing ideas on how to take your novel in a new direction. Some prompts will be silly, some scary, some just absurd. It will depend on my coffee level that day : )

Feel free to add your own prompts – you may help another NaNo’er push past a block.

Bring your friends! Bring your Teacher! Bring your Teacher’s Friends! And let’s NaNo!

October 29, 2009 at 12:04 am

5 Prompt Friday

girlonlaptopNo excuses! Now get writing!

Play the 5 W’s game: on 5 post it notes (or torn slips of paper) write at least 3 of each:

Who: (can be as basic as “girl” or as detailed as “5th grade teacher – male”)

What: write out 3 different scenarios unrelated to your “whos” like: Running in a 5 k; tasting sushi for first time; just lost best friend

When: this could be a time of day, month, year or historical period

Why: this would be based on the struggle or villain or an emotion: because she was selfish; to get revenge; always the underdog; greatest fear is public speaking

Where: could be a basement, outerspace, a closet, on  hiking trail – use your imagination: create a place!

Now, toss all these W’s in a bowl, hat, bag, what have you – and select as many or as little as needed to get an idea flowing. Try it – and report back here! That’s an order, soldiers!

October 2, 2009 at 12:02 am 2 comments


emotions3Are you ready to be Wacky?

Write about a time when you were caught doing something gross or embarrassing (picking your nose)

Imagine if your character had a “mocking” disease: he is sitting in class taking notes on a lecture and begins, beyond his control, to mock and sneer at the teacher. What would cause this disease? What consequences would your character face?

Create a story where kids are considered model citizens if they can train a chicken to walk on a leash.

Can you come up with Wacky Writing Ideas? Share them here!

September 30, 2009 at 12:01 am

Guest Post: Author, Adam Dustus (win his book!)

Adam Dustus

Adam Dustus

Today, Adam Dustus guest blogs on WriteLikeCRAZY and is offering his new novel, High School Asylum, to one lucky random winner! Please read the rules at the end of this post for your chance to win!

Begin Your Masterpiece!
Psst…  I’ll let you in on a little secret.  While I’m not certain how many writers know this, you can bet your life they live it.  The secret is attitude.  It is one’s attitude of mind that to a great extent determines what and even how they write, perform, play—or pursue a happy existence.  Writing is influenced by the mood, artistic temperament, and worthy aspirations that always precede goals, both in life and developing a novel.
I find it a major help to begin any writing with the highest expectations for your work.

Since expectations influence outcomes, I ask you to recognize that when writing a piece of any length, the artist needs to do more than brainstorm and develop plots (especially when attempting anything considered socially conscious and relevant). Just as creativity influences narration and outline, your artistic intentions elevate the level of your work through writing down in goal form what you aim to accomplish literally. In taking this important step, the writer automatically begins a journey to fulfill self-generated, noble intentions.

Set out to clearly define your reasons for writing your piece.  Sure it is okay to wing it, vent, and have fun with your writing. However, do not be afraid to “DREAM BIG” by first defining what you set out to do.  Have no limits in your brainstorm.  To illustrate this idea, take my first novel High School Asylum.  The following had been my goals for this novel:

Goals for the creation of High School Asylum:

  • Expose the alienation that many young “loners” experience in high school, as well as the social sickness that is alienation (draw from personal experience)
  • Realistically create a fictional public high school.
  • Design this book to be a beginning for dialogue for the field of education (From “The Ivory Tower” of higher ed. to inside a high school English classroom.
  • Expose the violence of suburban New Jersey
  • Express my moral conviction against war

Final thoughts… Everyone’s artistic vision will be different.  As it is for most art in many genres and forms (both traditional and digital), the beauty of writing is that artists adapt to methods and make them their own.  Writing is the most personally engaging and intimate artistic form.  Great writing transforms the reader and author in ways that no other art form is able.  Dare to create and make it great. Now, begin your masterpiece!

Adam Dustus is a blogger, novelist, poet, graphic artist, and podcaster.  His most notable literary work to date is High School Asylum, which depicts the overwhelming emotions of feeling alienated from life and high school culture. Adam is currently putting the finishing touches on his second novel, Sounds From A House.

Visit The Dustus Blog @

Adam’s novels and poetry can be ordered through

Any one can leave a question or comment for Adam today, but only young writers can enter to win a copy of his novel!



You must be 25-years-old or YOUNGER to post for entry to the giveaway

You must have a U.S. shipping address

You must post at least ONE Writing Goal you have for yourself (Bonus entry  if you share your plan to achieve that goal!) The more goals you have the more entries you earn!

Be specific, like “I’d like to publish a fantasty novel before I’m 30” or “I want to learn how to write better dialogue.”

Posts must be made by 12 mindnight Central Time, Sept 25, 2009

Good luck!

Come back tomorrow to see if you’ve won ; )

Mary Jo’s Note:  All comments are subject to my approval. Since this is a blog for young writers, I WILL NOT post any comments that are lewd, vulgar or harmful in any way.

September 25, 2009 at 12:01 am 3 comments

Wanna win a free book?

asylumcover_blogHey young writers! 

I’m honored to have new novelist, Adam Dustus, author of HighSchool Asylum, guest blogging on WriteLikeCRAZY this Friday, Sept. 25! And you can win his book!

 Adam has been writing fiction and poetry his whole life and shares his story of how to stay motivated by having goals for your writing.

 What are your goals for your writing? 

Do you want to see your name in print? Have a book made into a blockbuster movie? Maybe just improve your grades on school papers?  Well, it all begins with a goal.

Share your goal with us for a chance to win…

Wanna win Adam’s book, High School Asylum for free?  Then come back over to the WriteLikeCRAZY blog on Friday before midnight and post a comment telling us about your writing goals! One lucky winner will be randomly selected. Be sure to follow the rules posted on Friday!!!

You can also leave a question or comment for author Adam Dustus as he will be replying all day.

Can’t wait to “see” you there!

September 23, 2009 at 2:08 pm 5 comments

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