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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

So You Want To Be a Writer?

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This morning I happened to overhear a student talking to one of my colleagues about the student's desire to become a writer. My colleague was encouraging the student to continue working on his writing if he enjoys it, but my colleague was also telling the student how difficult it is to get published and reach an audience. As they were wrapping up the conversation I jumped in to encourage the student to start a blog to share his writings with family and friends. I briefly mentioned that as he audience grew that could open up some other writing opportunities and some potential income. My point was not that writing a blog would get the student a book deal or make him any money. Rather my point was that if he wants to be a writer and have people read his work, a blog gives him the power to do that without having to go through the traditional gatekeepers of the publishing world.

Three Ways Independent Student Writers Can Reach a Bigger Audience

The obvious way that students can reach a bigger audience is to maintain their own personal blogs that they share with their family and friends. Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr, Edublogs, are easy to use blogging tools that students can set up in minutes. Which platform students choose to use for their personal blogs isn't terribly important. What is important is that if they're serious about writing they keep writing and they may slowly grow an audience. To encourage the student in the story above, I shared the story of Chris Guillebeau's 279 Days to Overnight Success

Teen Ink provides a forum for students to post their writings, get feedback from peers on their reading, and read the writing of other teens. Submissions on Teen Ink that are really outstanding are considered for inclusion in Teen Ink's print publications.

Ink Pop is a site similar to Teen Ink that provides a place for teens to share their writings with each other. Teens can create profiles on Ink Pop and interact with each other. Ink Pop also offers writing contests for its members.