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Updated by james-n-philmon on Jun 12, 2018
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10 Ways to Find an Authentic Audience for Young Writers

Kids write every day. Book reports, friendly letters, business letter, All About Me, the list goes on and on. But who are they writing TO? Too often that answer is one of three choices: no one, the teacher, an invisible test scorer.

Here are 10 ways for teachers, parents, and kids to find an authentic audience for their writing. From international pen pals to open poetry forums, there is something for every writer to explore.

Students of the World: Pen Pals for kids & students (5+)

"Penpals for young people, Blogs, Clubs, Educational games, cultural information (geography, statistics, pictures, schools) about all countries of the World"

Pen pals are the go-to idea for writing to an audience. This site provides the option to narrow by regions and specific countries then search by gender, age, hobbies, languages, and keywords. Kids as young as 5 years old submit their own "ads" to connect through snail mail or email. Moderators constantly reviews ads to ensure that only children, parents, and teachers post requests.

Hello Poetry (12+)

"The best place to read and share poetry on the internet"

Hello Poetry keeps themselves small and focused by requiring anyone interested in sharing their work to first request an invite by submitting a current sample. In addition to the opportunity to share poems with like-minded writers, the site features poetry searchable by Latest, Random, or a Make Me function that presents poems based on emoji-based moods the reader chooses.

Share What You're Reading | Scholastic.com (5+)

"Students write reviews about recently read books and can also read recommendations submitted by other kids."

Book reports meets Reading Rainbow meets Blog. Scholastic hosts an open forum on their literacy website for kids write reviews of their favorite books and read reviews written by other kids. There are even resources to lead kids through how to write an engaging review...including a step-by-step tutorial from Robman Philbrick, author_ Freak the Mighty_!

Storium - the Online Storytelling Game (12+)

"Tell stories with your friends in an innovative online storytelling game. Over 98M words written. Sign up now - it's free."

Storium's online multiplayer approach marries the twists and turns of 'choose your own adventure' stories with atribute-driven games like Magic the Gathering. The level of complexity is definitely for upper elementary or secondary students, but teachers and parents can join a waiting list for StoriumEdu which is rolling out as a free beta version in the near future.

How I published in a scientific journal at age 12 (10+)

"A young scientist writes about the inspiration behind his model for earthquake prediction – and what he learned on his (“tedious but worth it”) journey to publication"

Elsevier's retelling of his journey to publication includes words of wisdom about frustration and practical tips to becoming a published research author at a young age.

Stone Soup — Stories, Poems, and Art by Young Creatives (13 and under)

"Stone Soup is the literary magazine and website written and illustrated by kids through age 13. Subscribers get: 11 online issues per year, blog posts from young bloggers, music compositions, graphic art, author interviews, and contests."

In addition to opportunities to read and submit original work, Stone Soup offers tips for writing in every genre and specific tips on writing for publication submissions.

Young Authors Guide - Young Writers | NewPages.com (5+)

"Where young writers can find print and online literary magazines to read, places to publish their own works, and legitimate writing contests."

Yes, it's a list within a list.....but NewPages provides a dazzling array of opportunities to publish from early childhood through young adults and pairs the list with practical tips on engaging in the publishing world in an authentic way.

Submit a Recipe - The Kids Cook Monday

"The Monday Campaigns is a global movement backed by leading public health schools that dedicates the first day of every week to health."

Cooking is a science and recipe writing is an art form of it's own. Kids of all ages can submit their own recipes or read and prepare dishes submitted by kids just like them!

Submit Your Favorite Joke to Think & Grin – Boys' Life magazine (5+)

"Heard any good jokes lately? Tell us! Boys’ Life will send you this Official Contributor patch for each joke of yours we publish in the printed magazine. If your joke is a Pedro’s Pick, you’ll receive $10."

Writing is serious business, but that doesn't mean it can't be fun! Boy's Life is one of many children's magazines that solicit young writers to submit their original jokes for consideration. Not all submissions get published, but those do often come with a small gratuity.

Jonathan Dorf: Young Playwrights

"START SMALL! Don't try to write the next Angels in America or Rent for your first play. A big problem for many young (and not so young) writers is starting a play and not finishing it. My favorite way to begin is with a ten-minute play, which, at a page per minute, is ten pages long. It's got a beginning, middle and an end, only everything happens more quickly."

Through his site for young playwrights, Dorf offers tips for creating a script that expresses the young artist's vision and captures the imagination of the audience and potential publishers. The extensive support he offers includes a guide to contacting potential publishers and a regularly updated list of contests.