When designer Jacob Lewis created Figment.com, 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 Figment.com.
And then, check out Figment. com!