Welcome to the Dorman High School Media Center Blog. The information provided on this blog is intended for Dorman High School students. We hope the information is helpful and relevant. Please feel free to contact us if you have questions.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Ypulse Toolbox: Online Teen Writing Communities To Know

YPulse has highlighted a few of the teen online writing communities that celebrate, workshop and occasionally even publish teen writing in print. Of course, this is only a small handful of what's out there, so feel free to add more great suggestions in comments! (Either here or over at Ypulse, since I have copied their material here, all in the name of increasing readership in both places.)

Here are their suggested sites:

InkPop – This site makes my former teen self and her novel-in-progress green with envy. Launched last year by HarperCollins, the online teen community and writing platform offers aspiring authors more than just the support and feedback of fellow, young writers. Invaluable as that is, what makes the space stand out is the involvement and interactivity of real editors and authors. And not just because of the promise to potentially get published (although that doesn't hurt), but also for the chance to get a glimpse (and a voice) in the world of professional publishing.

SMITHTeen – For weeks after my visit to the SMITHTeen office, I couldn't stop thinking of my own six-word memoirs. The exercise (as self-explanatory as it sounds: a six word autobiographical story) is totally addictive and oddly cathartic, so it's easy to see how that simple prompt keeps the small, but devoted international network of teens who frequent the site coming back for more (sometimes multiple times per day!). 800 of these were curated for the anthology "I Can't Keep My Own Secrets" last year, but with daily submissions pouring in, there are sure to be more to come.

Teen Ink -  Ypulse Youth Advisory Board Member Caro summed up her love for this site (which also publishes a national arts magazine and book series) in a post a while back and I don't think I could say it better myself. So in her words: "One of the reasons I liked it so much was that contributors were encouraged to do whatever they wanted artistically (within reason) in a safe environment. Also, artists and writers are able to get others’ opinions and possibly have their work appear in print! And while adults are involved – articles by teachers and librarians are featured in the magazine as well— in the end, Teen Ink's voice is the teenagers'."

Latinitas – Recognizing the need for a publication that focused on the experiences of Latina youth, back in 2002 two students – Laura Donnelly and Alicia Rascon – decided to take action and transform a class project into a monthly webzine especially for Latina girls. These days the outreach program has grown to include magazine writing, photography, web design, editing and film production, to further its mission of supporting teen journalists, and also cover the shrinking, but persistent gap in teen media coverage.

Teen Voices – As many longtime Ypulse readers know, this is where Anastasia got her start working with teens. Helping girls to amplify their voices and create social change through media, today Teen Voices continues to pursue their mission of turning young socially conscious activists into proficient journalists as well as a means to "achieve personal and community transformation by providing them with the tools needed to articulate what they know, want, need, and deserve." Here, here.

gURL – One of the original ezines, gURL has impressively managed to maintain its edge and signature style over the years, even as they've changed hands and evolved to keep up with a rapidly changing new media landscape. A safe, often snarky space, there's good reason girls are still drawn to gURL not only as a creative outlet where they can post their pictures, comics and stories, but also as social hub for shout outs and advice on everything from body image to sex ed to everything else.

826 Valencia and Girls Write Now – So these final two might be cheating a bit since most of the writing action takes place offline, but both mentoring organizations do an incredible job of spreading the empowerment that comes with creative writing on the ground, so I figured they deserved a mention. Through all in-school and on-site tutoring programs, 826 Valencia (now replicated in centers across the country) gives students the opportunity to publish their writing in an array of publications ranging from smaller chapbooks and ‘zines to professional-quality books with a national audience. And if you've ever stopped by one of their storefronts that house the tutoring projects like the Pirate Supply Shop in San Francisco, the Superhero Supply Shop in Brooklyn) that they do so with a healthy dose of irreverent charm. Meanwhile, a slightly more traditional set up, Girls Write Now has its heart in the same place, offering one-on-one mentoring to at-risk high school girls with dedicated mentors and volunteers includes sophisticated female novelists, poets, novelists, playwrights, journalists, essayists, and educators.

Tired of losing your flashdrives?

I am here to recommend DropBox as the perfect solution for anyone who needs to access files form multiple locations! If you have a connection, you have your files. Visit DropBox today and set yourself up an account. This is a perfect solution for students who cannot seem to keep up with small flash drives.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty

Break out your best Taylor Swift "boy hater" anthem, and prepare for the ultimate revenge against that guy who thinks he's all that!

Another Hunger Games Book Trailer

Hunger Games

I love what one colleague said about this book! It's like Survivor on Steroids. A fast paced novel that is amazing and a book you will NOT want to put down! DHS has the sequal Catching Fire and will order the third in the series due out this Fall (Mockinjay.)

SCYABA Nominee: All We Know of Heaven

Okay yes I enjoyed the story. Just like the quote about the program Law and Order, ripped right out of the headlines. It feels dirty to know though that an author is capitalizing on this tragedy by making a fictional story based on the tragedy. I know, there have been similar tragedies. I did enjoy the story (does that make me morbid or maybe akin to an ambulance chaser or sensationalistic reporter?)

Let's talk. What did you think of the book? Many of the kids at my school have been reading it and say it is good. I did find myself tearing up quite often in the book.

Trailer for ALL WE KNOW OF HEAVEN - The most amazing videos are a click away