Online writing website for an eleven-year-old?
May 26, 2022 11:12 PM   Subscribe

My eleven-year-old likes to write fantasy stories. They're excited about the idea of finding an online community to read other kids' work, find readers for their own work, share feedback.

My spouse and I are in general pretty wary of social media for our kids. Do folks know of a site that creates positive/constructuve community for young writers? I'd love firsthand recommendations from parents or people who are young enough to have recently been part of such a community themselves.
posted by sy to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Many writers groups expressly prohibit under 13, if not older. Doesn't mean that there aren't younger kids managing to use them, just that the community is not intended for them and therefore not controlled for appropriateness for the age group.

However, off the top of my head, I can think of a couple that *might* work, but you'd want to verify their current status for yourself and your specific child. I have no idea if their terms of use remain the same as what I remember from when I used them with my kids.

The Young Writers Program that is part of Nanowrimo.
One Year Adventure Novel & etc - This is curricula-adjacent, but last I knew it was possible to join the separately.
The forum at Holly Lisle's Writing Classes is kept pretty clean, but again, don't know current rules as for how young is permitted.
*Maybe* Forward Motion, but again, I don't know.

I hope you'll get a recommendation for some (quality) newer communities. Don't be surprised if they have at least a small membership fee to make an identity be associated with the account, and to pay for moderation. Generally the only way to (safely) adapt to the no-under-13 account requirements is to have it be a parent signing up, and attaching a child's account to it. (Like what everything from Always IceCream to Time4Learning use.)

Any which way, I strongly recommend doing your best to keep your child off fan fiction sites or things like Raddish or Wattpad until they're at least several years older. A popular topic is "shipping" - aka, writing about relationships that don't exist, but that fans WISH did... and these can get pretty graphic.
posted by stormyteal at 1:23 AM on May 27, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: My 11 year old who is similar joined a writing club at the local library, which might be something to check out. In the past he has had a good experience with Outschool classes. (I’m sorry I can’t give a specific recommendation because his Outschool teacher no longer teaches, but when we have checked there are usually a ton of options and specific topics.)
posted by tchemgrrl at 4:27 AM on May 27, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Mine got a lot of mileage out of Storybird and we found it to be very supportive and child-friendly.
posted by nkknkk at 7:02 AM on May 27, 2022

Best answer: It's pricey, but I can vouch for the instructors and writer community at Writopia. Your child could try a week-long summer camp to see if they like it.
posted by xo at 8:20 AM on May 27, 2022

Response by poster: Thank you for these answers, all different and all helpful. SpouSy and I will look into these and find the right thing or things.
posted by sy at 1:38 PM on May 27, 2022

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