Kids Helping Kids Through Creative Writing

michele_smith-aversaLisa McNeilley, Ph.D, owner of Writer’s Alley, has come up with a ‘novel’ idea – Publish an anthology of short stories and poems written by kids, then donate the proceeds of the book sales to the Kids’ Food Basket. Kids helping kids!


And where will McNeilley get the stories for the anthology? She has a plan for that too! Writer’s Alley is offering the “Creative Writing and Publishing Workshop for Kids’ Food Basket,” a program for kids ages 12 and up.


The goal of the workshop is:
• expose the students to various aspects of the writing and publishing process
• enhance their skills
• and the students will receive and provide feedback on their writing
• students will develop a story and a poem to be included in the anthology


The culmination of the course is where the rubber meets the road, or rather where the ink meets the page. The stories and poems will be compiled into an anthology. From there, the students will learn about the publication process firsthand, including book design, editing, publishing and promoting the book that carries their very own written work. kfb LOGO


Another bonus to seeing their name in print is knowing that the proceeds from the book sales will go directly to help the Kids’ Food Basket. Students who participate will get a fun and creative learning experience, as well as learn about the importance of giving back to the community.


Workshop Information:
• Will run July and August
• Available to students 12 and older who are interested in writing and publishing careers.
• Class size is between 20 – 30 participants
• Includes 20 hours of workshop time.
• Varied schedule to accommodate vacations and summer jobs of the participants.
• Tuition is $200, which breaks down to only $10 an hour. Tuition applies in order to cover teachers, software and other expenses.
• Writer’s Alley will provide payment options, reduced or waived tuition for those who desire but cannot afford to participate.


“The main goal here is to reach those students who aspire to be part of the writing and publishing industries,” says McNeilly. “We don’t want lack of funds to prevent a child from experiencing this program if they are truly interested.”


This is not the first time McNeilley has taken on such an aggressive project. In 2013, the Cascade Writers’ Group (which was founded and is led by McNeilley), held a national writing competition. The winners of the competition were then published in Imagine This! An Artprize Anthology. McNeilley was the editor of the book, which was sold during Artprize last October. The success of that project spawned her idea for the Kids’ Food Basket workshop.

Dr. Lisa McNeilly


Time is Running Out


The deadline to join the Creative Writing and Publishing Workshop for Kids’ Food Basket program is June 30! It is an incredible opportunity for the budding authors and future publishers in our community to learn writing skills and see the entire publishing process from creating a story to developing and printing a book.


For more information, visit Writers Alley at


Lisa H. McNeilley, PH.D


McNeilley earned her degree in English from Wayne State University, has a business degree (BBA Marketing) from the University of Michigan and has taught college courses from basic writing to business and technical writing for over 15 years. She is the owner of Writer’s Alley, which offers tutorials and workshops for writers.