Student and Alumni Resources

Here are some resources for budding young writers, dramatists, students and graduates of YSF programs.


Get Published

Teen Ink offers teenagers the opportunity to publish their creative work and opinions on the issues that affect their lives – everything from love and family to teen smoking and community service. Hundreds of thousands of students have submitted their work to them and they have published more than 25,000 teens since 1989.

Merlyn’s Pen has produced and supported school programs that promote creativity, critical thinking and writing, and self-acceptance. The New Library of Young Adult Writing showcases compelling works of fiction and nonfiction authored by America’s teens, grades 6-12. To advanced teen writers, the Library is an online resource of successful models to explore, engage, and emulate.

Teen Voices Online is the original magazine written by, for and about teen women. Get published! If you’re a girl between the ages of 13-19, you can submit your writing, your art, or a description of your activism for publication in Teen Voices.


Great Books on Writing

Save the Cat by Blake Snyder (screenwriting structure)

Screenwriting 434 by Lew Hunter (screenwriting structure)

The Art of Dramatic Writing by Lajos Egri

The Artists Way by Julia Cameron (creative writing)

Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose (best for high school aged students)

The Forest for the Trees by Betsy Lerner (also a bit more advanced)


Pre-Professional Education

Cal Arts Community Arts Partnership

California State Summer School for the Arts

Enter Contests

Script Frenzy’s Young Writers Program hosts an annual writing contest that helps participants create scripts for Movies, Plays, TV shows and Graphic Novels. Check out the general info and resources pages for great information!

The Alliance for Young Artists and Writers hosts The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. These awards offer early recognition of creative teenagers and scholarship opportunities for graduating high-school seniors. The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards offer creative teenagers Recognition by local and national professionals in the arts; Exhibition and publication opportunities for regional and national audiences; and Scholarships for graduating seniors who present portfolios of art, photography and/or writing.

Next Step Teen Shout Out Writing Contest: Enter the Shout Out teen writing contest, and you could win $100 and have your writing published in an issue of Next Step Magazine!

Staples Teen Poetry Contest: If you are a teenager who enjoys writing poetry share it with Staples. Submit your best poem to express what you are thinking about and what issues are important to you.

Scenarios USA: a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that that uses writing and filmmaking to foster youth leadership, advocacy and self-expression in under-served teens. Scenarios USA asks teens to write about the issues that shape their lives for the annual “What’s the REAL DEAL?” writing contest, and thousands have responded with their raw and revealing insights.