So long, summer

Well, folks, this is it. In about 5 minutes, the last Loft Youth Classes of the summer will end, and it will get way too quiet and boring around here.

We’ve loved seeing you every day this summer, young writers! Keep up the good work and don’t stop sending us your best stories/poems/prose/scribble to publish here on the blog.

We’re already hard at work making sure that next summer will be even better than this one, but until then, don’t forget to sign up for fall youth classes and check out the free Teen Novelists’ Conference.


Literary event this weekend

If you have some time to spare this weekend, you should participate in this fascinating public art project. An artist is inviting the public to write down “What Needs to be Said.” Responses will be pinned to the wall of the site of the project on University Ave., then burned when the project is complete.

It’s a quirky and powerful idea, and you can say you were a piece of art history!

Three short pieces by Griffin H., age 14

Griffin wrote the first 2 of these 3 pieces last week Teen Writers’ Bootcamp here at the Loft. She wrote the 3rd for school. When she’s not reading and writing, she enjoys swimming and acting, too.

A Personal Peace

The boy sitting alone in the pews looked distinctly out of place. His blue Mohawk and many piercings contrasted sharply with the drab, stately attire of the priest frowning down upon him. He was here to be cleansed, that he knew. His wild, free lifestyle had led his straight-backed parents to imprison him here. It would do no good. The proud antiquity of the vast church awakened no inner feelings of awe. The church  was unsettling in it sleepiness, so unlike the dance floor. The pulse of music and the thud of feet were his religion, far more real than these faded golden promises of absolution. His heaven was now. No one understood.

The Tree House

The tree was lonely. The Mojave Desert was vast and people were scarce. The tree lived on people. On their stories. On the tiny bare feet of their children when they climbed him. On the wooden houses that they made in his branches. On the soft sounds of the teenagers who first found love among his roots. On the rhythm of those who grew up and repeated the cycle. But this tree was lonely. There were no people.

He thought and he thought and one day he hatched a plan. He then began to grow, but not into branches with leaves. He grew into walls with windows. He grew into a roof. And then he waited, waited for the people to come. But it was not a family who came, it was a photographer. And then more photographers and then newspapers. Apparently what the tree had done was extraordinary, but all he wanted was a family. Eventually the papers grew bored with the tree house and one by one they moved away until no one was left.

Years passed and the tree grew sadder and sadder. Then one day he heard a noise, a laughing noise. Children! They had come at last, a boy and a girl hand found the strange tree house, and unlike the adults, they did not want to photograph it. They wanted to play. And even though he knew that someday the children would grow old and move far away, the tree was happy.

Of Death and Dreams

His eyes reflected the pain that seeing me like this caused him. I was standing there, in the middle of the room, tears pouring down my face. Continue reading

A suggestion for our youngest writers

Do you know about Stone Soup magazine?

Stone Stoup is a quality print magazine written entirely by kids up to 13 years old. They invite submissions, book reviews, and illustrations. And get this: if you’re printed, you get paid!

It takes confidence and bravery to submit your work to be published, but I can tell you from looking at your work all summer, Loft Young Writers, that you are good enough to be published. I hope you try!

For inspiration, take a look at this beautiful sample copy of Stone Soup.

Kids’ responses to fun writing prompts

This past weekend, the Loft and the Minnesota Center for Book Arts hosted a fun event for all of the Combo Classes we’ve held this summer. In Combo Classes, students start the day upstairs at the Loft, working on their creative writing, then go downstairs to MCBA to create book art. This year, for the first time ever, students had the unique and exciting opportunity to display their book art in the gallery here at Open Book. We held a reception to celebrate.

Visit the Loft’s Facebook page for pictures of the reception.

For a fun activity at the reception, we handed out writing prompts. A few student artists were brave enough to share what they came up with.

By Isak D., age 9

By Andrew K., age 8

By Daniel B., age 10

Also by Daniel B., age 10

Many thanks to We adapted the prompts slightly from their Daily Themes.




More fun stuff from last week’s Wimpy Kids

A drawing by Isaiah K., age 9

By Astrid A., age 11

A comic by Wes T., age 12

Another comic by Wes T., age 12

A twisted fairy tale by Thiago X., age 11

Hunger Games poem by Clare L., age 11

Clare L., age 11

By Tyler T., age 9


Silly Stories from some very silly kids

If you’d like to write a story but you’re feeling stuck, a great way to get yourself started is to re-read books you love and write a book based on the same idea. That’s just what the students in Carissa Jean Tobin’s “Sillier Stories” class did last week. Take a look, and see if you can tell what books they used as an example.

Never Bring a Lion to the Movies by Mina R., age 6

“Never Bring a Lion to the Movies” by Mina R., age 6
Page 1

Mina, Page 2

Mina, Page 3

Mina, Page 4

Mina, Page 5

If You Give a Pig a Apple by Camille W., age 6

If You Give a Pig a Apple by Camille W., age 6

Camille W., Page 1

Camille, Page 2

Camille, Page 3

Camille, Page 4

If You Give a Mouse the Newspaper by Svetlana G.

If You Give a Mouse the Newspaper by Svetlana G.

Svetlana G., Page 1

Svetlana g., Page 2

Svetlana G., Page 3

If You Give a [Tortoise] Coca Cola by Thomas G., age 8

If You Give a Tortus Coca Cola by Thomas G., age 8

Thomas G., Page 1

Thomas G., Page 2

Thomas G., Page 3

Thomas G., Page 4

Thomas G., Page 5

Thomas G., Page 6

Thomas G., Page 7