Chicago Young Writers Review, or CYWR (reads like sai·wer), is Chicago’s very own platform for K-8 students to publish their written creations. It is a space for imaginative expression, and a place to nurture rising talents.
Seeing one’s work in a magazine can foster confidence, creativity, and give extra stimulus to transform the writing skills that kids are learning in school into life-long talents.
Students tell us they like having a place to express themselves—and the confidence boost when their writing is recognized. For us, CYWR offers a rewarding opportunity to show future adults that their voices and ideas matter today.
Today, CYWR authors are attempting—many for the first time—to express their thoughts, emotions and observations in a lasting way that goes beyond the fleeting action-reaction exchange with the environment. Whatever direction they choose in life, this ability to communicate in writing will be one of the most highly sought-after skills, whether in high school, college, or adult life.
Our mission at CYWR is to give K-8 kids a fun and engaging incentive to experience first-hand the rewarding nature of writing, and thereby contribute to building the foundation for their personal growth as students, citizens, and individuals.
Think local write global
While it started as a local Chicago publication, CYWR has grown to feature work by young writers from around the world. We are thrilled to offer global readership and connections to the rich variety of local lived experiences.
Why kids’ writing?
Getting published is the young writers’ tangible accomplishment of which they can be deservedly proud. It motivates and inspires kids to keep on creating.
The more they write, the more confident the kids feel, not only about their writing and storytelling skills, but also about themselves as creators. The more confident they are, the better their work gets. With better results comes the fun of self-realization.
For some of the CYWR contributors, the art of writing might even become a life-long passion and creative outlet. That would make us exceptionally happy!
How do we publish and distribute the young writers’ work absolutely free?
It is the CYWR’s objective to provide kids with a real publication showcasing their hard work. So, each issue of our magazine is compiled and can be read in two formats—both of them completely free!
Form follows function
First, our readers can flip through our interactive online magazine that is published right here on the CYWR website. It looks, feels and “acts” like a printed magazine, but because it’s online, we are able to produce it at no cost for our contributors and subscribers and deliver it to readers across the nation and around the world. Out-of-states grandparents love this!
The second format is a trusty good old PDF that we make available for personal download. Send it to family members or print out your story to be mounted at the place of the highest honor at your home, whether it is the notice board, heirloom chest, or refrigerator. Some writers like to use the PDF files to create their portfolios.
Natalya Androsova, Ph.D., Editorial Board Member
Natalya Androsova is an award-winning writing and dissertation coach with over two decades of experience teaching writing. She has coached professional writers and university writers of all skill levels—students, staff, and faculty. Natalya has been running Writing and Graduate Student Support at Ryerson University in Toronto, where she has also been teaching Writing for Wellness to staff and faculty and acting as a dissertation coach for graduate students.
Her passion is helping writers become more courageous, authentic, and kind to themselves. Through individual coaching, writing groups, and writing retreats, she has helped hundreds of writers to break through blocks and find inspiration, a more authentic voice, and a greater freedom in their writing and their life.
She lives in Toronto, Canada, and when she is not writing or meditating, she loves to play tennis, practice yoga, or sit by the water and cloud watch for hours. In her own writing practice, spanning three decades, she discovered that beliefs we have about our writing are not different from the beliefs we have about ourselves, so a new way of writing often translates into a new way of living. What was impossible becomes probable and even likely when we learn to write and live without fear.
Natalya is the author of 7 Minutes to Freedom: Simple Writing Meditations to Liberate Your Writing and Your Life and Dissertation Without Tears.
Brandon Seyferth, Editorial Board Member
Brandon Seyferth was awarded a prize for poetry by Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress, Maxine Kumin. He has been a professional writer for the world’s largest online musical instrument retailer, Reverb.com and has had his original music and lyrics featured on large market radio, including Chicago’s WXRT. He has also had his music and lyrics featured in film festivals, including the International Film Festival of Cinematic Arts, Los Angeles.
As a songwriter, he has collaborated with Grammy nominees and some of the biggest names in music, including songwriter Jackson Browne and Victor DeLorenzo of the Violent Femmes.
Daria Volkova, Founder, Editor-in-Chief
Daria is a class of ’23 student at New Trier High School in Winnetka, IL. She is an English tutor, a dancer, reader, writer, talker, and enthusiastic user of parentheses. Herself a participant and winner of multiple high-school writing contests, Daria realized how much she would have loved to have her writing published while she was still in Elementary and Middle school. Her passion for giving back to the educational communities that have been formative to her as a writer gave her the motivation to found CYWR. She aspires to welcome young writers into a global community of creative individuals eager to learn more about, and contribute to, the world that is both reflected in, and created by, the written word.
Help us spread the word about CYWR
Download our printable Get Published poster, share it with friends, or post it at your school, library, or community center. Thank you!