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Every day across the 826 Network, 826 educators and volunteers encourage students to embrace bold, creative ideas through writing. When students write an anti-ode to olives, or reimagine possibilities through speculative fiction, they are sustaining the creative spark within themselves.

Like a campfire, creativity requires attentiveness; a commitment to tending the embers of your inspirations, joys, and curiosities. But there are times when that spark dims, or when young writers, like all of us, encounter the ever-looming “writer’s block.”

To jumpstart your creativity this year, we’re sharing free writing resources from 826 Digital that support a “Culture of Creativity,” an 826 National core tenet. Each of these lessons invite students to try new ideas and experiment with their writing in meaningful ways.

826 Digital lessons are designed to reach and engage every student, from aspiring authors to those still finding their path. We invite you to embrace creativity with your students by exploring these resources:

For Character Development:

Meet Your Protagonist! | Lesson | Grades 7-9
Students will learn how to develop well-rounded characters that readers really care about.

Me…a Villain? | Lesson | Grades 1-5
Students will learn how to create a compelling backstory for the character and write short stories from the villain’s point of view.

For World Building:

Setting-O-Matic | Spark | Grades 4-7
Students learn to incorporate setting as a key element of a story, starting with inspiration from collages.

Details, Character, and Setting | Lesson | Grades 7-9
Students will learn to draw details from real life to create unforgettable characters and compelling stories.

For Dialogue:

The Dialogue Shuffle | Spark | Grades 3-9
Students learn the need for strong dialogue in narratives.

The Dialogue Alphabet Game | Lesson | Grades 4-7
Students learn to create realistic conversation in A-Z fashion.

When students write with 826 Digital, they tap into their creative flame, and fully embrace the power, brilliance, and joy within themselves. And with each new word, their voices transcend the page to bring us stories that paint a portrait of the world as they see it and of the world as they hope it to be.

Explore more student writing, Sparks and other resources at!

Got feedback? Email the 826 National team at

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