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Publish Student Writing
If you’re wondering how to promote writing in the classroom, a great way to get your students excited about their own writing is through student publishing. All that entails is publishing student writing into books and believe us when we say that the concept of seeing their own writing in a book that they can actually hold will get your students revved up about practicing their craft.
There are plenty of ways that you can publish student writing as a teacher. This concept is a great cornerstone of any writing workshop program, and it gets kids focused on centering their attention on one piece of writing that they can refine and perfect. This will not just instill focus, but also concentration and appreciation for the craft. And the reward at the end will be seeing their writing in a new, official way - and this will prove to students that their hard work always pays off.
What’s more, Six In Schools is a great option for getting your students engaged in the creative writing and book publishing process.
One of the most fun ways to publish student writing is by hosting a publishing party. This activity is a stand-in for something like an author’s gala, and inviting friends and parents alike is a great way to get kids excited to show off what they’ve worked hard on. Students can create author profiles of themselves complete with a short summary of the writing they published, and you can designate time for each student to explain their project.
Another exciting way to publish student writing is through a class e-book. You can easily make this happen through PowerPoint or Google Slides, and when every student’s handiwork is added to the project, you can email the e-book to parents and administration to share the work that your class put in.
Hosting a bookstore event is another good way to get students excited about their writing. This would be much like the publishing party, but instead of hosting it at your school, see if any local bookstores would be willing to have you and your class at their location for an evening.
Places To Publish Student Writing
It’s not always easy to find places to publish student writing, but we compiled a few resources so making a book with your students can be a seamless process from start to finish. There’s just something extra special about getting more eyes on a student’s writing than eyes that belong to their peers or you, their teacher. Finding student publication opportunities is something that can add that bit of pizzazz to the writing process.
Stone Soup is a magazine that has been publishing short stories, poems, and art by children ages 13 and under since 1973. You can even take the reins and submit your students’ work yourself! Keep an eye out for contests, too, as those are always good opportunities.
Cricket Magazine has also been in the student publishing business since 1973, and they entertain children ages 9-14 with stories, poems, and artwork. Although you have to be over 18 to submit to Cricket, they commonly advertise contests in their magazine that welcome submissions by younger children.
What child doesn’t love Highlights Magazine? They are targeted towards 6-12 year old readers, and they’ve been in the biz since 1946. To submit to Highlights, you must be over 16 years old, but Highlights accepts art and poetry submissions from younger children on the ‘Share With Us!’ portion of their website.
Cast of Wonders is a great place to publish for kids who are fans of sci-fi-, fantasy, and horror. It’s aimed towards 12-17 year olds, and is a young adult podcast where stories are written, recorded, and shared.
Student Publishing Sites
It’s not always easy to find good student publishing sites. A lot of places cost money or there’s no guarantee that your students will make it into the publication. And while that’s part of the experience in some cases, it’s also nice to have a few free online student book publishing ideas in your back pocket. You want to show your students’ work to the world! There should be no barriers when it comes to doing just that. Here are some of the best online writing programs for elementary students and older:
Flipsnack is an online app that lets you convert images into digital books that look professional and allow page flip-throughs. All you need to do is sign up, add a document, give it a title, and browse your computer for the file that you want to convert. This flip book tells a story on its own, and it’s a great way to get students to express themselves by combining books and art.
Wordfaire is a place where student writing can come to life. It’s a free live-blogging platform that updates in real time, and it has a simple interface that’s easy for teachers and students alike to use.
ePubBud is a website where students can publish e-books and tailor them exactly to their liking. They can even add links, videos, and images! And after it’s done, it can be saved and shared with whomever it’s meant for - and it can also be read from almost any device.
Creative Ways to Publish Student Writing
If you’re looking for creative ways to publish student writing, sometimes classic is best. There’s almost nothing better than creating a hardback book to publish student poems or short stories. You can choose to have your students submit work that is either typed or handwritten and send it off to a company like Schoolmate Publishing, Student Treasures, or Classroom Authors, and within three months you’ll have hardcover books that your students and their families will always cherish.
With the onset of virtual learning, many educators have been using Google Classroom - but did you know that Google Classroom is also one of the best creative writing apps for students? You can publish student writing on Google Classroom just like you’d publish anything else. All you have to do is create a Google Classroom assignment called ‘My Published Creative Writing,’ and create a copy of the document for each student. Then, have your students type the piece that they want to publish in this document. After that, create another assignment called ‘Class Published Creative Writing’ as a blank document that all students can edit. From there, they can add links to their published pieces, read other students’ writing, and comment.
To publish their writing, you can also have students participate in writing contests. Potential contest sites include Creative Communications, NaNoWrimo, and the New York Times Learning Network. All you have to do is read through the rules, get a permission slip signed by a parent or guardian, and give students time to draft their submission in class.
Self-publishing for students can be very fulfilling in ways that you (and your class) didn’t even know were possible. Student self-publishing teaches kids to focus on one project for a long period of time and to dedicate time and concentration to it in order for it to turn out exactly the way that you want it. And if you want your finished product to come out as close to perfect as possible, you have to put in the work. Self-publishing is great for driving this point home because inevitably, students will want their writing to be the best that it can be if it’s going to be held in someone else’s hands in a physical manner. The last thing they’re going to want is to spot mistakes!
If you follow through with student self-publishing, you can always keep those books in your classroom or in the school library for years to come. So even when the students that contributed to the project are long gone and grown up, their projects will live on. This is a great lesson for current students as well - they will see that the work of students past is still around, so they should work just as hard on their own self-publishing so students of the future can witness the dedication that they felt for the project.
Having an audience makes a difference in the quality of writing. If students know that more eyes than just their teacher’s are going to see their writing, they will try harder and spend more time refining their craft.
Ways for Students to Share their Writing Online
You may still be wondering how to have students share their writing - but are there better ways to share writing for students of today than to do it online? That’s where most everyone spends their time anyway, so free writing websites for students is the way to go. Check out these ways for students to share their writing online:
Figment is an online community that encourages students to share their writing with one another in order for kids of a similar age to inspire each other. This can help boost creativity and morale!
iWrite is another great online resource. It includes ideas for teachers and parents about teaching creative writing, and it also has tools to help students explore different forms of writing.
Writing Fix is how to get a reluctant writer on their feet. If there is a student struggling with writing, this is the place for them - any subject and any genre.
Magnetic Poetry is an interesting tool to help kids strengthen their poetry muscle. Students are given a blank white screen and a group of magnetic words to position in the order that they choose, and this helps to create a fun experience out of poetry and writing in general.
Grammarly is a writing aid that helps students check their spelling and grammar - whether it’s for a creative assignment or homework in general. Grammarly also helps students expand their vocabulary by offering improved word choices!