Saturday, March 19, 2011

Dallas Woodburn ~ New Release: Dancing With The Pen: a collection of today’s best youth writing

Please join me in giving author, Dallas Woodburn a warm welcome as she shares with us today her latest project.

New Release: Dancing With The Pen: a collection of today’s best youth writing

“The best children’s book writers are not people who have kids, but people who write from the child within themselves.”

— Andrea Brown

In 2010, I founded the youth publishing company Write On! Books with the belief that young people need and deserve a vehicle to share their unique voices with each other, and with society as a whole. Our debut anthology, Dancing With The Pen, features stories, poems, and essays by more than sixty young writers in middle school and high school from across the United States and even abroad: Singapore, Canada, and New Zealand.

Write On! Books has a twofold goal: give young writers an outlet for expression, while also publishing exciting, creative work that gets kids excited about reading. Dancing with the Pen is a book for young writers, young readers, and the young at heart. I like to tell young people, “Even if you are not normally a big reader, this book is still for you. Maybe you'll recognize yourself in these pages.” I hope people who read this book are inspired to pick up a pen, step out on the dance floor, and go for a whirl themselves.

The idea to start Write On! Books was sparked within me more than a decade ago, when I released my first book, There’s a Huge Pimple On My Nose: a collection of stories and poems. I was in fifth grade, and the book – and my writing dreams – snowballed in magical ways I had not thought possible. Pimple was reviewed in national media outlets including CosmoGIRL!, Girls’ Life, and The Los Angeles Times. I was interviewed by newspapers and radio shows. I spoke at various writers conferences and book fairs, and the Santa Barbara Book Festival had a “Dallas Woodburn Day.” Perhaps most important of all was the thrill of seeing my own words in print. I felt proud and energized – the excitement of Christmas morning paled in comparison. My self-confidence blossomed. My love of writing intensified. I wanted to be a writer. I saw myself as a writer!

In the thirteen years since Pimple debuted, I have published a second collection of stories; contributed pieces to dozens of magazines, newspapers, websites, and Chicken Soup for the Soul books; written plays that were produced in Ventura and Los Angeles, California; and am currently pursuing my Master’s degree in fiction writing at Purdue University.

When I visit schools to speak about my own personal writing journey, I always ask the students if any of them are interested in writing. Usually a few tentative hands raise. In contrast, at the end of my talks when I ask the same question, nearly all the students excitedly thrust up their hands as if trying to touch the ceiling. Many young people tell me they didn’t know kids could be writers. Not only can kids be writers, they can be brilliant writers! They can write imaginative, touching, thought-provoking pieces, as Dancing With The Pen attests. And writing, especially for young people, can create many amazing opportunities.

The mission of Write On! For Literacy, which I founded in 2001, is to encourage kids to discover joy, confidence, a means of self-expression and connection to others through writing and reading. Activities and projects include writing contests, fun creative writing workshops, and an annual Holiday Book Drive that has collected and distributed nearly 12,000 new books to disadvantaged kids. For every copy purchased of Dancing With The Pen, a new book will be donated to Write On’s Holiday Book Drive to benefit disadvantaged youth.

Copies of Dancing With The Pen are available on Amazon:

Discounted bulk orders are also available through our website:

Bio: Dallas Woodburn is the author of two award-winning collections of short stories and editor of Dancing With The Pen: a collection of today’s best youth writing. She has written more than 80 articles and essays for national publications including Family Circle, Writer’s Digest, The Los Angeles Times, and the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. She graduated from the University of Southern California with a B.A. in Creative Writing and is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Fiction Writing at Purdue University, where she also teaches undergraduate writing courses.





Be sure to follow the author's of VBT Writers on the Move at the next stop when Shelby Patrick hosts Heather Paye

Thank you for your time and interest, it's been a pleasure having you visit.

Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Award-winning Children's Author
The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.


  1. Dallas:

    It's a pleasure to host you today.

    Best wishes for your continued success,

  2. I love your project, Dallas. Anything that gets kids to read is wonderful. Great post, Donna.

  3. Dallas, I agree with Nancy, I love your project. You are taking the bulls by the horn and actually inspiring children to write.

    And, I love your note about being able to see yourself as a writer. I'm a firm believer in the power of positive projection.

    Thanks for doing all you do for children!

  4. Donna, thank you so much for having me as a guest on your blog today!! Karen and Nancy, I really appreciate your kind words and support!

  5. Thank you for the terrific comments and support to Dallas, much appreciated!

  6. How wonderful! This books sounds great. I love your organization's goals. It's important to reach kids early and instill in them a love of reading and writing.

    I was at my daughter's school last week preparing for a workshop I am giving tomorrow, and when the kids heard the word "writing" they said they hated it. Even though we are going to talk about their favorite characters, I think I'm going to start off asking them why they don't like to write. Maybe we can change that.

    Excellent post ladies.

    Wishing you the best,


  7. Dallas, this is a fabulous project. I applaud you for encouraging young writers!

  8. Dallas, I think what you are doing is wonderful. Sorry I'm just now getting over here. Been really sick, but I'm glad I'm better and did. I think it is so important for youth to find a love and passion in reading and writing...even if they don't become authors in their adult years. These talents can be used in so many different ways and venues.

    Keep up the great work and thanks Donna for sharing about Dallas latest project and goals.

  9. great post .
    great content and information provided.
    thnaks for that and keep posting

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Thank for you taking the time out to visit with me and to learn about my historical fiction children's book, The Golden Pathway.

Please be sure to leave your blog address so I can reciprocate.

I look forward to visiting you too.