The Young Writers Initiative

The Young Writers Initiative

The Young Writers Initiative is an online community-based organization offering free resources for young writers to hone their skills and get their work out into the world. You can submit work for a variety of services, or attend weekly online writing workshops. On the other side of the organization, you can also sign up to be a volunteer editor, beta reader, or book reviewer after completing a two week bootcamp. 

In this interview, Brent Freeman tells us about his journey and how it led him to helping found TYWI. 

What sparked the founding of TYWI and how does it speak to you personally?

There's much more focus on STEAM and law in today’s society, and people don't realize how important writing and art are. I think every single job is important in its own way.

Personally, I’ve always been told things like “oh, why aren’t you becoming a doctor? Why aren’t you becoming a lawyer?” Because of this I struggled for years to get my art and writing on the right track, which I think was a huge waste of time and if I had the guidance and support we provide at TYWI, it would have been very helpful. We provide free writing resources that will help them improve their work, like editing, beta reading, consulting, publishing opportunities, and more. We want to help empower young writers to chase their dreams. 

Can you describe any difficulties you've encountered in making this happen?

I would say, the most difficult was getting TYWI off the ground to begin with because originally, it wasn't supposed to be this huge online thing. Riya and I were just trying to create a literary magazine at our school but our principal rejected the idea, so then we decided we should probably figure out some better way to do this and get out of her discretion, then come back and figure out a way to get it approved. 

We tried thinking bigger, and then we eventually came up with this idea for TYWI to be an expansive online literary magazine and do all sorts of other things like providing editing and publishing help to young writers. Finding the right people to work with, especially dedicated board members was definitely difficult as well.

How has your experience with TYWI changed you as a person?

TYWI helped me figure out where my priorities lie because before we created TYWI, I wasn't sure how much time I was gonna dedicate to this, and I always spent a lot of time on too many things because last year I was involved in like 30 organizations and joining TYWI made me realize I needed to figure out what I wanted to dedicate the most time to and work hard to achieve our goals.

How has your experience been with Irvine Lights?

Riya was the one who originally reached out, and I was honestly a little worried about the legitimacy of the organization because you guys are basically free and I wasn't really understanding how that would work. It just sounded a little too good to be true, but Irvine Lights is fantastic. I can't really ask for a better choice. 

Follow TYWI @youngwritersinitiative on Instagram and check out their website!

By: Olivia Cai

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