Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Write It

Write It

Spring 2006 Website
Ages: 13 - 18 yrs.
By: Suzanne Freeman
By: Mo Riza
By: Tami Mount
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
“Find your voice. Develop your craft. Publish your work.” That is the mantra of Scholastic’s encouraging site for budding teen writers. Concepts that many established writers might not have grasped until college—how to build a portfolio and organize it by genre or chronologically, for example—are laid out here. Poetry, essay, short fiction, memoir, and humor are all represented in a professional, yet teen-friendly how-to format. (How-tos won’t write the Great American Novel, but will help them master the basics.)

At a crucial time when many teen writers throw in the towel due to lack of encouragement, Scholastic is guiding today’s Mark Twains through some important truths about the craft: A) It’s hard work. B) It takes reviewing, revision, and polishing before one can even think about publishing. And C) It’s crucial to seek the support of other kindred souls. The site’s creators have achieved the latter on numerous levels. A bulletin board forum connects fellow writers while an interactive master class with a featured teen author adds her own audio commentary. Teens may also jot down titles of recommended reading, complete an exercise on Flannery O’Connor’s three-dimensional characters, or read inspiring bios of Scholastic’s college-aged Art and Writing Award recipients.

Having their words read by others is a dream come true for writers of all ages. So the fact that Scholastic accepts teens’ submission for possible “publication” on the site means young writers can taste the sweet success of their labors faster than any generation of greats before them. It’s a delicious payoff, indeed.

Robin Raskin   ©2006 Parents' Choice
Robin Raskin, the former Editor in Chief of FamilyPC, is an Internet safety authority and a writer who speaks to parents and teachers across the country about raising digital kids. Her newest book, A Parent’s Guide to College Life is published Random House. Visit Mrs. Raskin's website at: Robin Raskin

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