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Creative Energy Juice for the Budding Novelists in your school!

Figment is a great place to look for literary inspiration for those adolescents who have already moved on to rolling their eyes at Twilight and its imitators by the time they hit 7th grade. Seriously, Figment has just enough sarcasm to catch the attention of talented 7th and 8th graders (and beyond) without killing their desire to create something literary. It frequently rewards those who dare to create by sponsoring contest with great prizes (phone call from a YA author to advise you on your writing, anyone?). I think it is still untapped in its actual classroom potential, but it is very promising.
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Figment is The Best Site for Teen "Writing Geeks" Around.

Figment is the best online space for teens who like to write and read I have encountered so far and the site just keeps getting better and better! WIth reviews on the latest YA books, interviews with writers, and audiences for teen writing, you can't go wrong with it.
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Figment--an audience beyond the classroom

"As far as social networking goes for teenagers, Figment is a moderated space that focuses upon teens writing for teens. They can post their own work, participate in contests, read about featured YA books, and participate/start their own forums. The particularly nice point is that the site is moderated (unlike the vast plains of Facebook and Twitter where any post is a good post). Figment was created by Dana Goodyear, a staff writer at The New Yorker, and Jacob Lewis, the former Managing Editor at The New Yorker and Condé Nast Portfolio. They have sectioned the site into areas for posting original work (including fan fiction), forums, contests (which I'll touch on later), the Daily Fig, and sadly, a shopping area wherein Figment bags, t-shirts and other paraphernalia are readily available. The Daily Fig, I admit, is a little bit of a time-sponge. I spent more time figuring out my literary boyfriend (Rhet Butler) and my Greek God (Zeus) than I did reading the contest winners and reading about the upcoming contests. However, when I did break away from my fascinating quiz results, I clicked over to the contests and took a look at the Research Rapture Contest. Ruta Sepetys recounts how she researched her new book; Figment offered the following challenge: In 250 words or fewer, choose an item from around your house (an old picture frame, a vase, a piece of jewelry that belongs to your mom, etc.) and create a fictional history for it. Now, that's a great writing prompt, AND a great way to share it beyond the classroom. Overall, the posts from the student writers ranged from could-have-used-another-round-of-proofreading to pretty darn spiffy. As an English teacher, I'm always wanting more and better from my students, but this site is a great place for them to share ALL of their work--not just necessarily those I've assigned them or polished for them."
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Find an audience for student writing at Figment

Figment is an online writing community that connects young writers. Figment authors must be thirteen years-old or older to join the community. "Figs" can submit writing to the site and participate in any of its forums, groups, or contests. Figs trade or swap readings through which they critique one another's work. They also write collaboratively in some groups and forums, trading narration from post to post. While some groups and forums offer collaborative writing spaces, others discuss figs' favorite media. Sponsored contests and featured books from published authors bring a corporate sheen to Figment, but figs retain copyright over their works; Figment secures the rights to display figs' works until they are taken down from the site. For older kids who love to write, Figment provides an authentic audience of peers who share a passion for written expression. Teachers can sign up to create private groups that function as online writers' workshops from which students can publish to Figment. The pedagogical value of Figment comes from whatever writing goals kids carry into it. Audience is the motivator for mastering inquiry-based, small-group, and whole-class writing lessons.
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