Did you know The Young Writer’s Initiative (TYWI) hosts a podcast? It’s true! Moving Write Along is a podcast made by young writers, for young writers. Whether you like listening to original stories or debates about plotter vs. pantser, this podcast has you covered. You wouldn’t know from listening that the three hosts have only just met, and this speaks to their chemistry and wit. Moving Write Along fosters a community of encouragement and accessibility, and I’m so grateful I had the opportunity to interview the three lovely hosts — Ruby, Kat, and Ray — of this writerly podcast. Would you like to meet them?
Ruby (she/her/hers) is 16 and enjoys writing fantasy and speculative fiction. Aside from writing, she likes reading — “which isn’t really surprising”— hanging out with friends, and music.
Kat (she/her/hers) is 19 and writes basically everything “because I have a really bad attention span.” In her spare time, she likes participating in clubs at her university (“what spare time do I have anymore?” me too, Kat, me too.)
Ray (they/he/she) is 14 and likes writing everything, with a focus on screenwriting, nonfiction, and prose. In their free time they like music —“I have like 4 instruments on my floor right now” — and have recently gotten into sewing.
The hosts of Moving Write Along came together through TYWI, the parent organization of JUVEN Press and now this very podcast. During TYWI’s summer camp program of 2021, the organization opened applications for podcasts hosts, and Kat says “it was podcast love at first sight.”
Listening to Moving Write Along is like being in a room of friends. They podcast team plans episodes collaboratively, aiming for a mix of light-hearted and serious topics. There’s tons to look forward to. Continue reading for the interview about their spooky stories episode and a sneak peek of the season finale.
Q: So I just listened to your horror episode “The Art of Scary Stories”, and I loved how you included the history of the horror genre. But, as we all know, horror in the past has been problematic in its villanization of minority groups, especially towards people who are not white, cisgender, or heterosexual. How do you feel the horror genre is changing, now and in the future?
Ruby: I hope it’s changing for the better. I hope we see more movies and TV shows with representation that’s more empowering instead of degrading.
Kat: There’s so many interesting facets of horror in that it’s always been used to tell social and political stories through the lens of the monster. People are always the real monster. Jordan Peele is a big horror director right now taking traditionally white stories and telling them from the Black perspective, so I think that horror will continue moving in the right direction. And I think horror should continue to be used to tell these allegories of political and social struggle.
Ray: I think horror is definitely moving in the right direction. Even if you just look at our crew, our scriptwriter is our Highness of Horror, and we both love putting the right kind of representation in our stories. The new generation is controlling the screen and definitely moving horror in the right direction.
Q: My favorite way to read is cozy with a blanket and sparkling water nearby. What is the ideal way to read a horror story?
Ruby: A stormy night. I want it to be dark, rainy, and thundering. Give me a big fuzzy blanket.
Kat: That’s a good setting, Ruby. Just get some guy to pour water outside your window. Probably the best time, and the worst time to read a horror story, is to read it right before you go to sleep. When you switch all the lights off and it’s just you and your torch and the book and you hear a noise in the house and freak yourself out. That’s great. Or, if you have a buddy beside you, you can read it together. That’s the ideal way to read.
Ray: I actually just watched a horror movie last night. I’ll definitely read a horror story at night because I’m going to be terrified, but that’s the point. You’ve got to get the ambience right. I’d like to be curled up in bed with my dog and a cup of tea.
Q: What are some of your favorite scary movies and stories? Personally, I have none because I don’t like to be scared.
Ruby: I’m similar. I’m not a big fan of horror, but I’ve watched a lot of good thrillers. Invisible Man is really good, it has the right amount of jumpscares in it. I also love spooky or gothic things like The Telltale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe. It slaps.
Kat: I was going to say that one! But obviously, if you’re a kid I’d recommend Goosebumps. A really good non-traditional horror movie is The Babadook. If you’re interested in writing horror I’d recommend reading the script. I get scared easily, but I find reading horror scripts really interesting. I’m just too much of a scaredy-cat to watch them. It Follows has a really interesting story that doesn't rely on traditional jump scares.
Ray: I’m a huge Tim Burton fan. It’s not exactly horror, but the disturbing and creepy, that's what I like. I love Corpse Bride, The Nightmare Before Christmas is a classic, I love Coraline. Tim Burton has a way of making the dead and dim really cool.
Grayson: Coraline straight-up scarred me as a kid, specifically with the button-eye thing. Nope, I’m out. I like The Nightmare Before Christmas — actually that one scarred me too.
Ruby: Tim Burton is so good at scarring kids.
Q: I’m looking forward to what else is in store for the podcast. Are there any future plans for Moving Write Along? Any sneak peeks you’d like to reveal for November and beyond?
Ruby: I love sneak peeks! Our next episode comes out October 30th — right before November. You can imagine what happens in November in the writing world…
Kat: Oh yeah! It’s like a big thing that happens in November, and we may have a couple of tips and tricks for those who are scared of it.
Grayson: I wonder what that could be.
Kat: I can give you one sneak peek. Our finale episode is going to be the whole cast and crew of Moving Write Along. It’s going to be very chaotic and exciting. For season two we’re planning on going bigger and bigger. Hopefully, we can get some guests to come on the podcast. We’re just getting started.
Ray: I’m so excited to make that final episode! In season two I’m really hoping to get a guest that involves kid’s cartoons. Very excited for season two as well.
Q: And finally, are there any myths you’d like to dispel about young writers?
Ruby: That they can’t make it in the publishing industry. That one drives me crazy. Chloe Gong, Tashie Bhuiyan, there’s a whole group of successful Gen Z authors. It’s really cool to see a group that's proving you don’t have to fit into a specific mould to be a YA author.
Kat: That what young writers write isn’t important. “If someone says that I’m going to throw hands.” Everyone wants to dismiss young writers and say, oh they're just writing silly little fanfictions and it’s not important. But every piece of writing is important, and when you’re at that age, in some ways you can connect with young main characters more than someone who hasn’t been to school in twenty years. A lot of young people’s writing matters.
Ray: That young writers, since they’re young, they are naive or stupid about writing and the publishing industry. We know a lot more than people give us credit for. We’re literally filling a podcast with what we know about writing. We have bigger minds than people realize and are wiser than some people can understand.
Thanks so much to the hosts of Moving Write Along for agreeing to this interview, and I look forward to hearing the places you go. Moving Write Along’s next episode premieres October 30th! So what are you waiting for? Subscribe to Moving Write Along on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and YouTube.
Moving Write Along’s goal is to create a warm, thriving community amongst young and developing writers for them to share their work and grow together alongside our podcast hosts. This podcast seeks to give an accessible platform that writers of all backgrounds can learn from and enjoy.
is a writer based in North Carolina. She attends writing classes of all kinds at UNC Chapel Hill and has a particular fondness for sharp imagery. In her free time, she drafts her own novels.