You parent a tween or teen writer. They love words, writing poetry or stories. They love to write but don’t want to write for school. They fill notebooks with thoughts dreams and ideas.
How do you hone their talents and love for writing while planning for their futures and keeping things fun and stress free?
Resources for Tween and Teen Writers
First, you don’t have to look far for great resources to help your teen or tween foster their love of writing.
Want to encourage your teen writer to write? Try this website dedicated to teen writers Write the World which advertises itself as a global community of young writers. Editors of the site provide daily writing prompts. The tween or teen writer earns badges for participation. Editors also offer frequent writing contests where young writers can actually earn money. This month young writers can earn $100 if they win the Profile Feature Writing contest.
Another great website is Go Teen Writer. Began by Stephanie Morrill, this website is chalk full of great resources. Plus the website organizers published the book above. Your teen can also join their Facebook group.
Another site is Figment. Figment is a place for adults and young adults to explore and submit writing pieces for critique and feedback. This site includes support groups for every type of writer. One word of caution, you will want to monitor your writer on this site and guide them to safe groups. Some of the groups are not appropriate for tweens or teens. Some of the material is also dated, and some of the groups are inactive.
Looking for prompt ideas to encourage your tween or teen writers try: Journal Buddies. On this site you will “find information, articles and resources about journaling, writing ideas, journal prompts, kids writing, building and strengthening self-esteem in children and other topics such as creative writing.”
You can buy the accompanying Journal Buddies books for your tweens at Amazon. The journal includes prompts as well as blank pages to encourage your tween/teen to write daily.
Strictly for teenagers is TeenInk. The TeenInk website offers online Writers’ Workshop Forums where the teen writer can get advice about written work, and comment on other teens’ work as well. She can also submit work in progress and/or finished pieces for peer review before submitting them to the TeenInk magazine or website.
Does your tween or teen like to write poetry? Try this great site by ReadWriteThink on Diamante Poem. ReadWriteThink also has great resources for parents of students in all grades. They have links to great games, fun activities, and websites. Check out their resources here: http://www.readwritethink.org/parent-afterschool-resources/.
Vocabulary is another skill important to helping improve overall writing. A great resource for tween or teen writers is the FreeRice vocabulary game. Your teen can help feed the hungry while improving his vocabulary knowledge.
Additionally, your tween or teen need time and space to write. Ensure they have a writing space or desk. Here are some great ideas for desks from Amazon (affiliate links).
The National Council of Teachers of English provides these great tips for parents of teenage writers:
- Have the materials. Provide plenty of paper–lined and unlined–and things to write with, including pencils, pens, and crayons.
- Allow time. Help your teen or tween spend time thinking about a writing project or exercise. Good writers do a great deal of thinking. Your child may dawdle, sharpen a pencil, get papers ready, or look up the spelling of a word. Be patient–your child may be thinking.
- Respond. Do respond to the ideas your tween or teen expresses verbally or in writing. Make it clear that you are interested in the true function of writing which is to convey ideas. This means focusing on “what” the child has written, not “how” it was written. It’s usually wise to ignore minor errors, particularly at the stage when your child is just getting ideas together.
- Praise. Take a positive approach and say something good about your teen’s or tween’s writing. Is it accurate? Descriptive? Thoughtful? Interesting? Does it say something?
- Read good writing. If your tween or teen reads good books, she will become a better writer.
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