BOSTON, March 11, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — YouthINK, a not-for-profit young writers initiative headquartered in Boston, Mass, launches today with a special mentorship program. YouthINK, the brainchild of author, actress and producer Christy Cashman, has been created to encourage writing, storytelling, and self-expression in teenagers. The YouthINK program is hosting a national short-story writing competition that is open to teens, ages 13 to 18 years old, from around the world. Entries close May 31, 2021.

The goal is to encourage teenagers to exercise their ‘creative chops’ by submitting a short story or essay of no more than 3,000 words that has to do with nature and/or animals. The winner, and their parent or guardian, will receive an all-expenses paid trip to historic Kilkea Castle in Ireland where they will attend a 3-day creative workshop that includes music, paintings, sculpture, and even a culinary experience, and will be attended and facilitated by notable authors and other creative luminaries.

“We want to support the next generation of writers by offering unique creative experiences that will inspire, motivate and elevate their craft of writing,” said Cashman, who founded YouthINK during the pandemic. “Encouraging young people to be creative and use their imagination is an important step to developing the next generation of great authors.”

Cashman has hand-picked a group of literary notables, including award winning authors, musicians, film-makers, actors, and artists, who will be judging the entries.

The panel includes New York Times’ bestselling author Andre Dubus III, award winning Irish author Colum McCann, bestselling authors Tom Perrotta, Arthur Vanderbilt and Lisa Pierpont, musician/artist Sally Taylor, journalist Jonathan Soroff, literary agent Lucy Cleland, business strategist and author Julie Guest, filmmaker Michael Mailor, casting agent Angela Peri, and editor Louise PIantedosi.

Once the judges have reviewed all of the short essays, the final two will be chosen by vote. The winner (and guardian) will receive an all-expenses paid trip to Kilkea Castle to attend the 3-day writer’s workshop, and the runner-up will be invited to a one-day, remote workshop at GrubStreet Creative Writing Workshops.

For further information or to submit an entry, visit: For media information, please contact Sydney Masters at 212.987.6804 / [email protected]


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