Shall we make YAAzine and an annual book?


Merging YAA’s interest in branching out, this section of the site would be dedicated to an emerging online literary magazine. For another example of an exemplary Scholastic ‘zine, check out The (Parenthetical), an online zine for Writopia Lab.

Can we make a Young Authors “Best of” book? Yes we can…

The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers publishes an annual Best Teen Writing paperback book each year; the .PDF version is free for anyone to download by either going to the Alliance’s site or to the right-column footer of Teen Trails (look down for free awesome books). Since 2010, the YAA has envisioned localizing this idea by taking each year’s top Scholastic Writing Awards entrees from Arizona and compiling an annual Young Authors of AZ “Best of (each year) paperback book.

“I’ve long admired the honesty of teen compositions,” said Young Authors co-founder and Valley English teacher Billy Gerchick, “and keep asking this core question: ‘How can our best Arizona teen authors be empowered to share their writing with peers and classroom teachers looking for exemplary, engaging, cost-effective texts to learn from?’ A ‘Best of’ anthology isn’t the only answer but it’d give young authors the annual chance to have their voices heard by sharing; sharing with peers, with teachers looking for teen-synthesized writing for their classes, and for anyone to simply enjoy reading. There’s power through publishing.”

Is this already being done by a Scholastic affiliate? Yes it is…

We’re focused on publishing an annual Best of Young Arizona Authors by May of 2014, a paperback a collection of polished versions of select State-level Scholastic Writing Awards compositions.

At least one other Scholastic affiliate, Washington D.C.’s Writopia Lab, publishes their anthology: a real paperback book by teen authors, co-edited by teens and teachers. Check out Writopia D.C.’s On the Subject of Walruses and Raw Feet as examples of what Arizona could accomplish. Kathy Crutcher, director of D.C.’s Writopia Lab, has already given guidance how to meaningfully and responsibly and efficiently create our own paperback anthology.

So how much would our own book cost? It’d be free…

In an era of limited budgets for Arizona’s schools, the book would available for free in .PDF form, on the Teen Trails site, and for all Arizona teachers & young authors to download (like the free national publications below): for young Arizona authors, by young Arizona authors. Family members, friends, teachers and English departments that value purchasing the book could do so through

A 200-page paperback book can be printed, using’s “Create Space,” for less than $4 a piece and sold through In-fact, books can be printed on speck which makes initial print costs manageable. An affordable and responsible price would be available and all proceeds would go to the YAA paying its affiliate fee to the Scholastic Writing Awards, putting on the annual ceremony, and putting on events throughout the state to encourage young authors. The YAA is a non-profit and all proceeds would go to benefit Arizona’s young authors.

Who would be able to earn space as a published author? You would…

Next year any grade 7-12 young author has the chance to earn print space (and online space through the YAAzine) by the quality of their submissions to the 2014 Scholastic Writing Awards’ Arizona region. Writopia D.C.’s authors earn print space by earning Scholastic Writing Gold Keys for their compositions and we’d consider that model as a criterion. Respecting Arizona’s American Voices nominees and our national Gold Medal and Silver Medal winners from 2012 and 2013, these authors would also be invited to revise and publish their work for our inaugural anthology.

If nominated for publication around mid-February of 2014, the author would have about a month to keep all content control of his or her work while revising it to meet conventions and genre formatting publication standards. You’d also would fill out an author questionnaire to share a brief bio, recognize your mentor teacher, give context to your published piece, explain one literary, stylistic, or rhetorical device that you’re proud of and would like to share, describe what you want to do with your writing talents, share a book recommendation, etc. This information would go in after your story so each published work’s educational value would increase.

We want to and can do this… with your help!

We’re looking to create partnerships with publishers and, in future years, make this publication annual. Please fill out the 2013 AZ SCHOLASTIC WRITING CEREMONY RSVP FORM if you’re interested in helping get support for, contribute to, and volunteer edit the YAAzine,, and/or the 2014 Best Teen Writing of AZ book.