The Hilliard Institute

The Hilliard Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation offering sensory education programing, experiential learning, and academic research and publishing while also supporting philanthropic initiatives through fundraising and educational training and activities—all under the umbrella of the concept of Educational Wellness

The Hilliard Institute. 4440 Savage Pointe Drive. Franklin, TN 37064

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or Professor Jessa R. Sexton at

13 Tips for Young Writers / Day One: Ponder and Think

By Dr. K. Mark Hilliard

Parents of Young Writers,

We’re going through a series of 13 tips for your creative child. Look over them and talk to your young writer during the next two weeks.


Day One: Ponder and Think

Here are five things a writer can consider while pondering and developing ideas to write about.

Spend some time asking your child about things he or she enjoys, likes to do, or might like to learn more about. Here are some questions you can ask:

  1. What are your interests?

    Do you like baseball or cars, nature or math? Are you fascinated by mermaids or unicorns? Do you love fashion and clothes? Do you like outer space?

  2. What kind of books do you like to read?

    Adventure, science fiction, mystery, humor, animals stories, silly stories, true stories ? (Your child will likely enjoy writing about things he or she likes to read about.)

    Once your child has an idea for a story, you can ask these things:

  3. Who do you want to write stories for?

    People your age, people younger than you, adults, boys, girls, girls and boys? (Remind your child to write with that age of reader in mind.)

  4. Do you want to write a chapter book, poems, songs, or a short story?

  5. Do you know how long your story will be?

    Sometimes we don’t know the answer to this. But many times people create stories knowing they want to write a longer book or shorter story. Knowing how much your child wants to write will help you know how to encourage him or her along the way.

Action Item

Get your child a journal. Even if he or she plans to write on a computer, it’s good for a young writer to carry a journal around to write down ideas.