Helping kids find an audience for their writing

Help your kids find opportunities to creatively publish and share their writing with others!

I’ve been thinking about the importance of giving our kids a wider audience for their writing. After all, if they only write for an audience of one—whether parent or teacher—they tend to write for that person’s benefit alone.

But if we want our students’ writing to improve, shouldn’t we also encourage them to find opportunities to share their stories, poems, and essays with someone other than Mom?

Benefits of a Wider Audience

Having an audience takes your child beyond the point of writing for a grade. Why not start thinking of ways to broaden his understanding of what an audience can be?

Help him experience how others can find pleasure in reading his work. He’ll be rewarded with increased joy and confidence, and I think you’ll begin to see his writing blossom as he takes more pride in his efforts.

Think Inside—and Outside—the Box

When Debbie and I taught WriteShop classes, we always ended the year with a parent tea. The students recited poetry, and we passed out class anthologies. As the children pored over the stories and poems in their spiral-bound booklets, it was clear how much they enjoyed seeing their works in print.

But an anthology is just one of many ways to publish. I want to challenge you to think outside the box, too! Here are some other suggestions for expanding your kids’ writing audience or showcasing their writing projects.

So help your children look for new ways to share their work with others. Once their writing pieces get published—whether in traditional or nontraditional ways—they’ll begin to grasp what it really means to be an author! 

Share a comment: What are some things you do to give your children’s writing a bigger audience?

Photo: Tachie, courtesy of Creative Commons
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#1 joy simpson on 02.08.10 at 10:06 am

I think that this is where ICT can really help. There is such an array of ways of writing for audiences – blogging, collaborative writing to create a wiki about a particular subject, creating a set of instructions for Wikihow, creating collaborative comics. The list is almost endless and such great fun.

#2 Kim on 02.08.10 at 10:42 am

Thanks, Joy. I especially like your 20 days to better blogging with children ideas!

#3 Bill on 02.08.10 at 2:45 pm

I highly recommend student readings. Our home school writing group has fall and spring recitals in which students read some of their work out loud and share written portfolios during mingling time. It’s fun and motivating.

#4 Kim on 02.08.10 at 5:16 pm

Bill: Thanks for adding the idea of a written portfolio. Since it’s a compilation of one student’s work over time, it’s different from an anthology that showcases many students’ writing projects. Love this suggestion for yet another way to publish for an audience.

#5 Carletta on 02.08.10 at 8:35 pm

Thank you for the great ideas!

#6 Kim on 02.08.10 at 9:41 pm

You’re welcome, Carletta. Thanks a bunch for taking time to comment!

#7 Michelle on 02.08.10 at 11:00 pm

I agree – some great ideas – thanks for the great post.

#8 Denise on 02.11.10 at 11:25 am

This is so important! When students are able to share their writing and see it appreciated by someone other than a parent or teacher, it becomes “real” to them, which motivates them to improve their skills in order to communicate effectively. This is one of the primary goals behind my homeschool blogging class, to give the kids a forum for their work.

#9 Kim on 02.11.10 at 11:33 am

Denise: I love the idea of your blogging class. It’s so practical–and fun, too! Plus, many parents are sure to gain tips to apply to their own blogs. I know I’ve learned from you! :)

I forgot you were the “math queen”! Did you see this blog post on writing math poetry?

#10 Karen on 02.11.10 at 12:51 pm

It is easy to get in a rut with our writing. Your ideas will liven up our routine. I especially like the suggestion of e-mailing work to grandparents.

#11 Kim on 02.11.10 at 2:47 pm

Karen: It’ll be a mutually beneficial effort, I’m sure. What grandparent doesn’t adore getting mail from a grandchild, right?

#12 Denise on 02.12.10 at 4:21 pm

Kim: Yes, I’ve been following the math poetry explosion. What fun! One of these days, I’ll make it into a blog post, too…

Karen: And if your children start a blog, be sure to get the grandparents signed up for an email subscription!

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