Thursday, December 9, 2010

Figment: A Writer's Community

When designer Jacob Lewis created, he was hoping to create a new social network, a new Facebook, for teen writers. It didn't work out that way, but became a pretty cool site where students could post, read, and respond to original writing.

And maybe that budding young author can find a publisher.

That's right, a few publishing houses have signed on to the site to hunt out fresh young talent. So it's an opportunity for more than just getting peers to look at student writing. Professionals may be too.

The site provides a wealth of educational possibilities. Finding an authentic medium for publication is often difficult for student writers. This site provides that 'real world' experience. In addition, there are many built in options to allow for commentary and critical feedback, from easy 'how did this writing make you feel?' radial buttons, to comment boxes, to whole review options.

I have recently offered my kids the current contest from figment as an extra credit opportunity.  I will see how they use the site and how well the contest piques their interest.  We shall see.

Check out the current contest here.

I am also looking forward to trying this site out with my students by having them 'publish' their personal narrative assignments. It will be interesting to see what feedback the students get from not only their peers here at school, but other writers from around the world.

Check out this article from the New York Times about the inception and development of

And then, check out Figment. com!


  1. This seems like a great way to get students oriented with a major part of the writing process: critique from others reading your work!

  2. That is really neat! I am going to share this with some of the English teachers at my school. It sounds similar to that web project every year where students can write mini-novels and have to add to it every day for a month.

    This process is so valuable because it not only makes the students vulnerable in their writing so they can improve, but it also allows them to learn how to critique their peers, a skill many people lack. "It sounds good" or "I liked it" are not sufficient critiques. I could use something similar to this in my classroom...a site might already exist in Spanish!

  3. Although the end result didn't end up as the creators wanted, I think that it still is proving to be a powerful tool for the people that do use it. There are so many wonderful opportunities waiting for the young author and this is one that they should all take advantage of. I hope that your students are using this.

  4. I had never heard about this until your post. Thanks for sharing! I will definitely share this with others in the county and my students as well!