Kid Writers

by Karin Abarbanel

My friend Hank Quense is a Renaissance man! He’s an author of fantasy fiction, a publisher, and a self-publishing pro. The do-it-yourself resource he developed called The Complete Self-Publishing Guide, available from and, is one of the best designed and easy-to-apply tools I’ve seen. It takes you step by step through every stage of the process, from planning content and editing through getting a book in print and marketing it.

Hank is also a wonderful writing coach. I took his workshop on “Story Design” twice and applied many of the principles he taught to my novel. So I was thrilled to learn that Hank has turned his teaching skills to helping kids craft and share their writing. He’s created a free online short-story workshop for kids in grades 4 through 7 that’s fun and instructive. What a gift!

Hank has a rare ability that makes him the perfect coach for kids: he can convey complex ideas simply, breaking them down into easy-to-understand segments. That’s exactly what he’s done in this new DIY course. He makes writing a short story both fun and doable – empowering kids to get their ideas out into the world.

One of the stumbling blocks kids encounter when they write is how to develop the ideas necessary to create the story. They need ideas on character development, story setting and plot and building all these elements into a readable story. For several years, Hank has given talks in local schools and libraries showing kids how to turn their ideas into exciting tales. Based on enthusiastic responses from kids, teachers, and parents, Hank used his terrific structuring skills to create a free online workshop for kids.

Using a new software program called Padlet, he recorded his talk in a series of short video clips and put them and the supporting information into a single web page. He did this to show more kids beyond his local area how to go about writing a story. The webpage has no ads and videos are free. The sole purpose is to instruct the kids in grades 4 through 7 while showing them how to have fun while writing a story.

You can check out the webpage here:

This is a wonderful resource! I hope you’ll pass the link on to any kids, parents, teachers, or librarians you know. Hank also welcomes the opportunity to share his love of writing in person with kids at schools, libraries, and special events. You can contact him at: hankquense (at) icloud (dot) com.

Bravo, Hank. Write on!

2 Replies to “Kid Writers”

  1. Rose Blessing

    I checked out the link you provided, Karen.

    Bravo Karen for posting this; bravo Hank for the clarity and focus of the online presentation. I enjoyed it myself as an adult and wish someone had told me when I was a kid to think of writing a story as setting up scenes rather than as mulling over the action paragraph by paragraph. This may be a breakthrough tip for me!

  2. Hank Quense

    Thank you, Rose, for the kind words.

    I learned the importance of scenes from Robert McKee’s book Story.

    While the kids learn about characters and plots in school, no one (that I know of) shows them how to come up with story ideas or how to organize those ideas. Much of the organization is geared to producing scenes.


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