For as long as I can remember, I have loved to write. Recently I stumbled into some old “books” that I made in elementary school. The books were certainly not anything fancy. They consisted of my handwritten stories and drawings that were thrown together by some type of plastic binding. Finding these old works made me think of all the cool opportunities available to kids these days to create real books out of their art and writing. There are also amazing opportunities for children to have their writing published.
Below is a list of websites that will transform your child’s stories into real books or publish your child’s stories.
“Storyjumper.com” is a website where kids can create their own story book. Kids can design a 20-page hardcover book for $24.99, a 16-page paperback book for $12.99, or download a 16- page audio book or an e-book for $2.99. The customization options are awesome. They can choose their theme, design their characters, and add their actual voice into their story. For more information, here is the link: https://www.storyjumper.com/
Scribblitt- This website has a lot of fun choices for writing engagement. Kids can write and illustrate their own hardcover book with 17 pages for $24.99. They can also publish their own comic, participate in writing contests, and view other kiddos’ work who have published their books/comics on the site. There are also options to share their story through the site and through email. Here is the link: https://www.scribblitt.com/
Little Bird Tales-
This website encourages children to tell their stories and gives many options for their projects. Kids can record their voices, create images on the “art pad,” upload photos, and “build a tale.” This site also allows educators to create stories/presentations/etc. For more information, head to this link: https://littlebirdtales.com/
“Storybird.com” gives options for kids to write a picture book, a comic, long-form, flash-fiction, or poetry. They provide hundreds of prompts and beautiful artwork for kids to put their story together. Currently, there is a free 7-day trial, and beyond that, it is $15 for a three-month membership. This site looks like a lot of fun. Here is the link: https://storybird.com/
Stone Soup is “100% written and illustrated by children ages 8-13.” The magazine has been around since 1973! The magazine invites youth authors, artists, bloggers, or book reviewers to submit their work. There is a huge section of questions regarding submissions on their website. For more info and for answers to common questions about submissions, head to this link: https://stonesoup.com/how-to-submit-writing-and-art-to-stone-soup/
I know I keep saying these websites “look awesome” but, man…this website looks especially awesome! This site has two options 1) create your own comic 2) create your own book. Both options are priced at $29.99. The book option is designed for kiddos age 4 and up. The comic option is designed for kiddos age 6 and up. The price includes the printing and delivery of the child’s custom book/comic. The products are “kits”. The kits come with art materials, postage, instructions, and template pages. I would have had a blast with this as a kid. Here is the link for more information: https://www.lulujr.com/products
Kids can write all they want—anytime, anywhere. All they need is a pencil, a piece of paper, and an idea. But these opportunities give kids a chance to technically “become an author” and/or have their own book that they have created. Not only is a customized book a cool keepsake but it will likely incentivize the kiddo to keep writing. As I said earlier: I treasure my silly, old, unlaminated, wrinkled books that I wrote as a kid. I cannot imagine having a beautiful hardcover book that I wrote as a child! And I cannot imagine the pride I would feel of having an article that I published in my younger years. These opportunities would make great memories and likely spark a love of writing for kids.
Best of luck to you all in your kids’ future writing endeavors.
Stephanie McCoy was born and raised in Portland, Oregon-where she still lives. She recently graduated with a Master’s in Education degree from Concordia University. In her free time: she likes to read and write, get outdoors, embrace her kiddos and husband, and watch travel documentaries.