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When we were young, there were few opportunities for us to cultivate our writing talents. Sure, there were sports teams and even a chess clubs at school; but there was no outlet for writers. Without a place to gather, we scribbled our thoughts down in journals and on pads of paper between classes. We were notoriously the ones raising our hands in English class, and we constantly won reading contests, as our noses filled with the scent of new paper, and our eyes ingested the black glyphs lining the pages of a new paperback. And we moved with a methodical passion, cracking paper-bound spines in our pursuit of the next escape.

This all, we did. And yet, we never had an outlet. Until now. The Promising Young Author program was designed to be your outlet, and your tangible piece of the writing world.

As part of our commitment to new and aspiring writers, The Washington Pastime works with universities & colleges and even high schools, helping ambitious student leaders set up campus support groups for writers. Our goal is to help writers learn to work as a team, and help our “on the ground” extended family professionally edit literature. In the end, writers have the opportunity to have their work featured in our publication, and more importantly, to forge connections within a community of learners, readers, and writers.

For young authors, the first paying publication credential is usually the hardest, and The Washington Pastime aims to give these young authors an edge by having them work together to grow as writers. Becoming professionally published not only marks a desirable opportunity for young authors, but also for those universities & colleges accepted, which can showcase the talent at their schools.

How to Get Your University or College Involved:

To manage on-campus efforts, a student intern (Support Group Student Manager) takes on an ambitious leadership role, interacts with The Washington Pastime directly, and builds the foundation of their campus chapter. The student works about 10 hours per week, learning to manage, negotiate, and professionally communicate with stakeholders.

Those interested in becoming a Support Group Student Manager should send their resume to Expect a response within seven days.

How You Can Get Involved with the PYA Chapter at Your University or College

All PYA chapters interact with The Washington Pastime and are identified as a formal chapter in our communication channels and outreach efforts as: The Washington Pastime [college/university] PYA Chapter.

Students directly involved in PYA chapters can take up a number of roles, to include:

Support Group Student ManagerAppointed by The Washington Pastime staff. Manages the on-campus support group, organizes weekly critiques, coordinates outreach, and meets with The Washington Pastime on monthly basis for program updates.

Senior EditorAppointed with the approval of the Support Group Student Manager and the recommendation of one professor from their English department, writing department, or equivalent academic program. Leads weekly critiques, evaluates literature recommended by Editors, and takes direction for outreach from the Support Group Student Manager.

EditorsUp to three allowed per semester. Appointed with the approval of the Support Group Student Manager and the Senior Editor. Conduct outreach for call for submissions on campus, review slush pile submissions from English department students (and others), and take direction for outreach from the Support Group Student Manager.

Affiliate AuthorAuthors who are directly involved with a university or college chapter, submit their work to their PYA chapter for review, attend weekly meetings, and support outreach efforts.

AffiliateStudents who are directly involved with a university or college chapter, attend weekly meetings, and support outreach efforts.

Becoming Professionally Published by The Washington Pastime:

The Washington Pastime publishes young writers like YOU, in both our online and print publications, who show genuine literary talent; regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, sex, marital status, disability, religious or political affiliation, age, sexual orientation, or gender. We publish young writers in all genres including Adventure, Fantasy, Horror, Science Fiction, Mystery, Romance, Thriller, Western and other categories of general fiction.

The Washington Pastime also encourages young writers to participate in The Washington Pastime Literary Contest for the chance to win publication in our online and print literature collections and up to $250! All PYA Chapter Members will receive a discounted entry to The Washington Pastime’s literary contests, as well as exclusive opportunities to compete against each other for the PYA Literary Prize.

For your work to be considered for the Promising Young Author category you must fulfill one (1) of the following criteria:

  • You are under the age of 18;
  • or, you are a high school student;
  • or, you are currently enrolled in a college/university; AND you have either not been published or have never been published with payment.
  • Current PYA Chapters
    Johns Hopkins University
    James Madison University
    University of Maryland
    Duquesne University
    North Carolina State University
    William Paterson University
    New Jersey City University
    Stony Brook University
    Georgia College
    Juniata College
    Mount St. Mary’s University
    Saint Francis University
    La Roche College
    Guilford College

    Where do I direct my questions?

    To learn more about how to start a PYA Chapter at your university or college, please contact Mike Vidafar at contact(at)washingtonpastime(dot)com, or use our contact form.

    If you have questions for other PYA chapters, feel free to e-mail us for Support Group Student Manager contact information.


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