Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Wanna Be a Rock Star?

Meet Caleb Breakey whose goal is to refine teen writers into so-called rockstars. How does that work exactly? I wondered the same thing.

Caleb Breakey’s passion for storytelling reminds me of a comet: rarely seen, white-hot, and a bit dangerous. CalebBreakey.com is a place where teens are finding the inspiration and tools they need to pursue their dreams and burn brightly just like Caleb.” —Kevin Kaiser, Writer, Producer, and Brand Strategist (for Ted Dekker)
By Teen Writer Lee Jarrell Rockstar,
with contributions from Teen Writer Hannah Marie Rockstar

Welcome to the beginning of something extraordinary, something blessed—something that’s shaping the wordsmiths ignored by this world: Teen Writers.

Yes, welcome to www.CalebBreakey.com, where Caleb Jennings Breakey and the Breakia Community are fashioning a generation of Rockstars.

“A Rockstar is someone who never despises their youth. Someone who’s humble enough to learn, yet fearless enough to speak,” says Breakey, whose site accumulated 50,000 hits in three months. “Someone embracing their role a Difference-Maker.”
This rapidly-growing site welcomes all Teen Writers to join the Breakia Community, where it’s not about how well you write—but how much you invest in your peers.

The site doesn’t cost money. It costs time, heart, and humility.
The order in which Caleb critiques the work of Teen Writers is based upon how many “full sandwich comments” (praise, critique, more praise) teens post on the work of others. As Caleb loves to point out, it is the teens who make-up the encouraging, grace-filled community thriving at CalebBreakey.com.
Caleb’s three-day, personalized critiques are highly innovated. Instead of using red pens or Word’s Track Changes feature, he uses vlogs and audio edits.

On the first day of the critique, Caleb posts 300-word excerpts of a novel, essay, poem, article, short story or devotional, along with answers to interview questions. On the second day, he posts a video blog of his thoughts on the writing and strengths of the writer. Then, on the third day, he posts an audio edit in which he offers suggestions on how to improve the writing.

The exposure to other writing styles and genres featured on CalebBreakey.com is just as valuable as having your own work critiqued. From experimenting with flashbacks to mastering the art of lyrical prose, the ambitious writers of CalebBreakey.com push boundaries and inspire devotion.

In short, you’ll develop a new appreciation for the talent of our rising generation.

So please: Stop by and have a look around the site. Tell your son or daughter, niece or nephew, grandson or granddaughter.

Tell them Breakia says hi, and that it’s time to make a difference with the pen.

BIOGRAPHY: Caleb Jennings Breakey, 24, is journalist, speaker, and mentor to Teen Writers. He’s enrolled in the Christian Writers Guild’s Craftsman Course and will be teaching at the 2011 Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference in North Carolina, and the 2011 CLASS Christian Writers Conference in New Mexico.

Still want to know more...

Q: Are there any fees?


Q: Is there any kind of writing you don’t accept?

There are very few pieces of writing Caleb would decline. These include erotica, anything with too much language, and anything that curses/blasphemes Caleb’s core beliefs in the faith, hope, truth, and love of Jesus Christ. If you’d like further clarification, please email him at calebbreakey@gmail.com.

Q: What about copyright issues?

Below is an excerpt from the Christian Writers Guild website

Under U.S. law, as soon as you write something, all rights to it belong to you. (If you want to make sure others know that, you can include a line that says copyright 2009 by Writer Name. Nothing else is needed.) If you want to take further action, you can pay $35 or $45 to have your copyright registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. For answers to common questions about copyright, as well as abundant details on how to register a work, visit the Copyright Office website: Copyright.gov.

Also keep in mind that if someone wanted to steal your work, he or she wouldn’t get far with 300 words. Not far at all.

Q: Are you a replacement for an agent, publisher, or anything traditional?

No. Caleb is simply a writer who wants to help Teen Writers hone their craft.

Q: What if I’m a Teen Reader but not a Teen Writer? Am I still welcome here?

Of course! Caleb believes all readers who participate at www.CalebBreakey.comwill discover not only what they like to read, but WHY they like what they read. They will develop precise reasons for why they sing praises of particular books and writers. These readers will become powerful voices on review websites, such as Amazon.com and BarnsandNoble.com. They will shape and direct the book-buying market.

Q: What is the “Page Critique Ladder”?

The system used to determine whose writing will be featured on CalebBreakey.com. The Teen Writer at the top of the Ladder is next in line.

Q: What is the “Breakian Ladder”?

The system for experienced Teen Writers of CalebBreakey.com—those who have already reached the top of the Page Critique Ladder and been featured on the site. The Teen Writer at the top of the Breakian Ladder is next in line, and may post 500 words instead of 300 words.

Breakian writing is posted every third posting period. Example: New Teen Writer, New Teen Writer, Breakian Teen Writer, etc.

Q: Do Breakians have additional site privileges?

Yes. The Top 5on the Breakian Ladder may post on the Critique Forum (up to 750words). Also, the work of Breakians on the Critique Forum will be posted on the site every Wednesday for extra peer critique (this occurs on a first-come, first-served basis).

Breakians who post on the Critique Forum move back to the bottom of the Breakian Ladder.

Q: What are “Ladder Jumps”?

Each ladder jump moves you closer to the top of the Page Critique Ladder or the Breakian Ladder.

Q: What is a “Full Sandwich Comment”?

These are how Teen Writers at www.CalebBreakey.com critique each other and earn Ladder Jumps, by offering: Encouragement (bread), followed by critique (meat), and followed by more encouragement (bread).

Q: How many jumps is a Full Sandwich Comment worth?

All Full Sandwich Comments on www.CalebBreakey.com are eligible for up to 5 Ladder Jumps(comments on the forum, in general, do not count). You can also earn jumps by commenting on Vlogs and Audio Edits, or by joining a discussion related to writing, editing, books, etc.

Q: What are the criteria for judging Ladder Jumps?

Jumps are based first on attitude/spirit, second on insightful/informative/thought-provoking, and third on length. (Length doesn’t get you anything more than one jump if there’s little substance).

Q: Is my spot on a Ladder ever safe?

The Top 2 spots on the Page Critique Ladder—and the No. 1 spot on the Breakian Ladder—become ‘locked’ every Wednesday. Teen Writers who own these spots are guaranteed to be next in line.

Q: How often are the two Ladders updated?

Caleb updates the ladders about once a week, usually on Wednesdays and sometimes Saturdays. Due to technical problems/time restraints, the ladders may not always be updated on these days. Don’t worry, though. Even if the ladders are not changing, Caleb keeps tabs on where writers are on the ladders. He’ll make sure you get the ladder jumps you deserve.

Q: What are the contests like?

The contests are a fun way to get involved on the site. People who participate in contests are typically awarded ladder jumps, critique from Caleb, or extra words for their next submission. Sometimes the winner can choose his or her own prize. Check out the Forum to submit a contest idea or join the conversation about contests.

Q: Your blog categories on the left side of the screen—what do they link to, specifically?

■Teen Writers: Links to all things on the site, excluding Vlogs and Audio Edits.

■Teen Contests: Links to anything contest related.

■Teen Interviews: Links to intro posts of featured writers.

■Teen Vlogs: Links to Caleb’s Vlogs.

■Teen Audio: Links to Caleb’s Audio Edits.

■Teen Rockstars: Links to posts that include a strong dose of what makes www.CalebBreakey.com special: Teen Writers who are humbly embracing their roles as Difference-Makers.

■Teen Readers: Links to anything regarding good reads for teens.

■Teen Critiques: Links to a combination of all intro posts and all audio edits.

■News about Caleb: Links to anything happening in the life of Caleb Jennings Breakey.

■Miscellany: Links to anything that doesn’t fit into the other categories.


Caleb Breakey said...

Greetings, everyone. I just wanted to drop a little note about the formatting of this article. Something was definitely lost in translation, and Gina has let me know that blogger isn't being nice today. =)

Computers. . . *sigh*

Anyway, no biggie. Just wanted to say that CalebBreakey.com is actually a clean-looking operation. =)

Merry Christmas!

D. Ann Graham said...

Caleb... It's a wonderful web site, and I so appreciate that you have taken up this torch for writing teens. Lifting up a standard in these last days is nothing short of a calling, and I pray that you will be blessed with favor many times over for such generosity with your time.

Many thanks!

Caleb Breakey said...

Dear Ann,

Thank you so much for your kind words. That's a big encouragement to me. Really. Since the beginning, I've described this entire venture as a God thing -- and that becomes clearer every day.

Merry Christmas!