Thursday, April 10, 2008

Resources for Young Writers on the Web

I did a creative writing workshop today with some third and fourth grade kids in Winchester, MA. We had fun writing our own Martian postcards, a la Craig Raine's poem, "A Martian Sends a Postcard Home," and writing in the voice of a 13th century wizard seeing 21st century Boston for the first time. I was amazed that these kids were already well along in projects of their own, filling notebooks, living with plots and characters in their heads. They're on their way. It was fun and inspiring to see what they came up with in the hour we spent together.

I promised to post some links here to online resources about creative writing for kids. There is Annie Buckley's 2004 book, Once Upon a Time: Creative Writing Fun for Kids. And at the other extreme, there is the idea of writing a collaborative story with kids around the globe, using Twitter, like the kids at Many Voices did.

How 21st century is THAT?!?! I have to confess while I've visited the Twitter site, I don't quite get it, but any technology that makes a global collaboration among kids on different continents possible has to be a good thing.

Between books and twittories (Twitter stories) there are a lot of other resources, formats, and publishing venues for the aspiring or practicing creative writer under the age of 12:

Ideas for creative writing in the classroom from Pizzaz. Great stuff here: writing captions for wordless cartoons, limericks, on up to more ambitious stories.

KidPub allows young authors to post work online and sponsors writing contests.

Calling on the Muse offers some excellent loosening up creative writing exercises that would work well for groups at Education World.

Stone Soup online offers lots of advice for aspiring authors, a place to publish, and you can even listen to young authors reading their work online. They also have a long list of print publications that publish young authors.

For girls (y chicas) New Moon/Luna Vida

And for the young writer who is having a birthday, a bad day, got a great report card, or has a great idea and needs a great place to write it down, check out these truly swoon-worthy blank books.