Local students have the write stuff

Watch out, grown ups — me included, I guess — today’s students are on a writing binge.

Watch out, grown ups — me included, I guess — today’s students are on a writing binge.

We here at the Reporter have had some fine teen columnists grace our pages over the years, but it seems like more and more young scribes are coming out of the woodwork these days.

It all started just more than a year ago when a teenager submitted a story on her pal, a 104-year-old woman at the Northshore Senior Center.

There was nothing outside of our columnists for long time, but now the calls, e-mails and office visits are picking up from youngsters who want to get their stories and ideas in print.

In February, we had a Valentine’s Day poet, and later a Bothell High writer tackled the subject of human trafficking. There’s more — in the next few issues we’ll have an Inglemoor High play review, and then an article on post-traumatic stress disorder that affects some of our troops when they return home from war. There’s plenty more hard-hitting subjects on tap from a handful of junior-high students, as well.

I’ve been told that some of these writers’ pieces are generated through their classes, and that they’re encouraged to send their stories to the Reporter for possible publication.

I say right on, to that. It’s a great way to get students out of the classroom and into the “real world,” so to speak. There’s nothing like getting a boost of confidence when your story is printed and you receive — hopefully (!) —positive feedback from your friends, family and people around town.

I know the feeling. For me, it started with some stories on soccer games I played in that found their way into the “Dribble,” our youth magazine. Then I wrote rock-band pieces for school reports … I started with my own, and then knocked them out for friends who didn’t enjoy the world of writing as much as I did. The high-school newspaper followed — soccer and music stories, of course — and then I went for it and submitted a concert review for then-prominent music magazine “Flipside.” A friend drove us down to San Diego to check out a gig by Husker Du, Minor Threat and Battalion of Saints — three of my all-time favorite bands. I sent the review in, and it ran — although it was riddled with typos … not my fault, of course.

But it didn’t matter. I had hit the “big time” in my mind. Although my journalism teacher didn’t seem impressed, I got plenty of kudos from the bands, and made some new friends from the across the country who read my story.

I became hooked on writing for a career, and here I am.

And I’m keeping my eye out for the next wave of writers — who hopefully don’t snag my job away from me anytime soon.