The Writing Process Made Real

A sampling of Kerri's rejection letters.

The Writing Process Made Real


Students will…

  • read interviews with published authors and reflect upon the writing process as it’s practiced by those authors.
  • reflect on their own writing process.
  • read a variety of texts both, fiction and non-fiction.


  • Computer lab with access to the Internet (This assignment also works well as an extra credit or enrichment assignment to be completed at home or in the library.)
  • Handout with reflection questions.


  • Review the YARN web site, including interviews from Malinda Lo, Barry Lyga, Susan Beth Pfeffer and Meg Cabot.
  • Make copies of reflection questions.

In class:

  1. Remind students of the writing process: Brainstorming, Writing, Revising, Editing and Publishing. Discuss what this process looks like in the English classroom.
  2. Direct students to the Interview section of YARN. Ask students to read author interviews with Malinda Lo, Barry Lyga, Susan Beth Pfeffer and Meg Cabot. (Note: this is a lot of reading; if time is short, you might direct students read the portions of the interviews that focus on writing.)
  3. Have students answer refection questions independently. You might host a class discussion the following day.

Reflection Questions:

  • Malinda Lo, Barry Lyga (Interview, Part 1), and Susan Beth Pfeffer all discuss their writing processes, including pre-writing, writing and revising. After reviewing these portions of their interviews, discuss what surprises you about the writing process of a published author. How is what they do different from what you’re asked to do for English compositions in school?
  • Malinda Lo, Barry Lyga (Interview, Part 1), Meg Cabot and Susan Beth Pfeffer all give advice for teens who have a writing assignment that they don’t really want to complete. How does their advice compare? Whose advice are you most likely to take? Why?
  • Visit the Web site or blog of one of the authors interviewed by YARN. What can you learn about an author by visiting his/her website? How can visiting the website or blog of an author make reading their books more interesting or enjoyable?


  • Encourage students to read a book by one of the authors interviewed by YARN. Any students who read the same book might form a literary discussion group.
  • Encourage students to write an email or contact an author through Facebook or Twitter after reading his/her book. Students might detail what about the book they found especially enjoyable or moving.

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What Is YARN?

It's a brilliant thing to have a place where you can read fresh original short stories by both seasoned YA authors and aspiring teens. YARN is a great tool box for growing up writing. - Cecil Castellucci

Imagine. Envision. Write. Revise. Submit. Read.

YARN is an award-winning literary journal that publishes outstanding original short fiction, poetry, and essays for Young Adult readers, written by the writers you know and love, as well as fresh new voices...including teens.

We also believe in feedback, which is why we encourage readers to post comments on pieces that inspire thought, emotion, laughter...or whatever.

So. What's your YARN?

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