MCY Writing Image#mycreativeyear with the Scholastic Awards staff continues! From poems to novels, we love to write. Find out what inspires our team to be creative and how they get their ideas onto paper.

Hannah Jones, Coordinator, National Student Poets Program

“I love to collaborate when I write. I find it keeps the experience of creating and building a story fresh, exciting, and spontaneous. Sometimes our cat likes to join the process by halting the process… Of course there are rounds of edits. Rounds upon rounds upon rounds of edits. During the past few years, I’ve become more open to that constant evolution, the number of versions my writing partner and I have to go through in order to reach a published book. You can see the stacks of manuscript drafts; I find that element daunting. It’s also inspiring.”

Tendo Mutanda, Senior Manager, National Programs

“Before I settle in to revise, I clean my entire apartment because my creativity is stifled by disorderliness. I like working off paper scratching out excesses and scribbling in additions. I’m ready to transition to the laptop only after my printed copy is heavily marked up. I use single space to save on ink and paper so my work in revision always has a lot of loopy arrows directing my attention to the back of the page.”


Tendo MCY


Jean-Paul Bass, Associate Manager, Communications

“I don’t know what drives me to write except that I know if I don’t write, I feel like I’m living a half-lived life.

“I spend a lot of time in the planning stages. I usually think up a story knowing how I want it to begin and how I want it to end with no real idea of how to connect the two! Most of my days are spent thinking about what happens next? and once I have a general idea planned out in my head, I start to write. I have some ideas for novels I’ve been marinating on for years, waiting until everything falls into place in my thoughts before I type a single word.

“I’m inspired by two mantras, one I made up to get myself motivated and one I heard in a movie when I was young and it’s stuck with me ever since. I often tell myself, “You have a story to tell and you’re the only one who can tell it the way you want it told. So go write!” And if that doesn’t work, I recall the words of Sister Mary Clarence: If when you wake up in the morning and all you can think about is writing, then you’re a writer.”

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