Photo courtesy of Weliton Slima
Writing not only gives children an avenue to express their creativity, but it also improves reading and comprehension. In addition, it encourages the expansion of a child's vocabulary. The more opportunities a child has to practice writing, the more he will be able to develop his skills. Fortunately, a wide variety of writing opportunities are available to kids of all ages. Many of these opportunities offer a chance for your child to become a published author, giving your son or daughter the reassurance that he or she needs to continue to thrive.
Create a Book
November is National Novel Writing Month, and the program includes a young writers program that children of all ages can take advantage of. Parents can sign their children up for free and set a word-count goal for each child. The kids then have from November 1 until November 30 to write their own book. Any child that meets the set word-count goal will have his book published and receive five free copies of the book.
Kids can also write their own book any time during the rest of the year and use CreateSpace to get it published. Children must sign for a free account with their parents. The only costs are the books the child orders for himself when he finishes creating them.
Kids love electronics, so use the computer and web to encourage them to write. Blogs are a great way for children to get their feet wet. Blogger and Wordpress are free blogging platforms that even a child can use, and parents can set the blogs to private so that kids can write freely. Encourage your child to select a theme for the blog, which should be something she is passionate about. Then, schedule time for her to add a post every couple of days.
Another option is to use Bubblews.com to allow your child to create posts that will earn her a few dollars. The site allows children to join, but when they are ready to cash-out, they must provide a parent's information. Payment can be received in the form of Paypal, a physical check or a gift card.
Plenty of websites accept and publish content written by children. Cyberkids and Cyberteens, for example, accept stories, articles and poems. Stone Soup Magazine accepts stories, poems and art from children between the ages of 8 and 13. Teen Ink accepts submissions from teenagers, while Launch Pad is geared toward kids ages 6 to 14. Launch Pad accepts book reviews in addition to poems and stories. Always read the frequently asked questions section of the website your child wants to submit work to in order to ensure that you follow all of the submission rules.
Most libraries offer writing workshops for kids throughout the year. These workshops take place on site and typically last four to six weeks. If you find travel to be difficult, you can sign your child up for an online writing workshop. Companies like Scholastic offer free writing workshops on topics such as book reviews, news reports, myth writing and descriptive writing. The workshops are available immediately, so there is no need to wait for a specific date to join like you would at a library.
NoodleTools: Online Opportunities for Young Writers
National Writing Project: A Collection of Online Publishing Opportunities for Student Writing
Scholastic: Writing with Writers
Stone Soup Magazine: How to Send Creative Writing and Art to Stone Soup