Common Sense


Publishing Opportunities for Students

Writing and audience are intertwined. Yet too often student writing never leaves the classroom. When writing is read only by students' teachers and/or peers, they don't benefit from real-world reception and impact. Elevating student voice beyond the classroom can be invigorating, and by writing more publicly, students learn how to tune each piece to its readers. Publishing student writing and letting it be received and discussed by authentic audiences provides students with valuable feedback. They also get the pride of knowing that what they've produced is being enjoyed. We've curated some of the best sites for student publishing. These platforms give students a real-world outlet for their writing as well as opportunities to engage with the writing of students from all over the globe. Some sites let students participate in positive communities and discussions, others task students with sharing their stories or projects, and some even have junior reporter or media creator programs. No matter the tool, each motivates students and provides them with authentic, interest-driven opportunities to connect with real readers.

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Top Picks


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Common Sense Selection

Book Creator

Magically easy way to create and publish digital books and multimedia

Bottom line: This is a top-quality creation tool that lets students of many ages and abilities publish their own digital books.

Smithsonian: TweenTribune

News site features human interest articles with useful classroom tools

Bottom line: This is a helpful and well-designed supplemental resource for reading development, but not necessarily a go-to news site.



Social storytelling site helps kids create, publish storybooks

Bottom line: A great fit for teachers looking to develop students' writing and digital citizenship skills through storybook creation.


Free storybook creation site has great support for classrooms

Bottom line: Reliable storytelling tool gives students solid tools to create, collaborate, and share work including real, printed books.


Creative sandbox opens the door to coding in any subject area

Bottom line: Scratch draws students of all types into coding and lays a foundation for future learning.


Encourage student expression and maintain digital portfolios with easy-to-use blog creator

Bottom line: Edublogs is a fantastic platform for any teacher committed to providing consistent opportunities for creation and reflection.


Collaborative writing game inspires purposeful storytelling

Bottom line: With some planning and customization, this unique card game can motivate thoughtful and sustained creative writing in your classroom.


YA review site gives students a real-world, although ad-driven, outlet

Bottom line: LitPick is a decent place for YA lovers to discover and discuss books, but the site is in need of a refresh and features a lot of promotion/ads.

NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program

Wildly engaging contest turns students into novelists in 30 days

Bottom line: A thoughtful adaptation of the famous and fun grown-up novel writing contest, NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program is brimming with advice and encouragement as well as classroom support.

Browser extension adds layer of annotation and discussion to the web

Bottom line: Free, user-friendly tool opens up the web to in-context annotation and discussion.

KQED Learn

Civic discussion site encourages media literacy and deep thinking

Bottom line: This platform features excellent videos students will enjoy discussing, but teachers will need to prep students to make quality contributions.

Play or design text adventures, but creation can get technical

Bottom line: Text adventures can be a blast to play and make, but the Quest game-making tool, while offering some decent support, can be tough to use effectively without coding experience.

The Learning Network

High-powered news site offers daily resource to process current events

Bottom line: Driven by a trusted news organization with its finger on the pulse of the world, this free resource can be a reliable source of activities and ideas for current event discussions.


Major publisher's writing platform has some potential

Bottom line: If the community ever takes shape, this could be a good publishing platform, but there are better, less commercial options.


With an authentic audience, kids can write, read, and comment

Bottom line: With the appropriate safeguards in place, a terrific tool for connecting kids with authentic audiences.

Youth Voices

Aging online community hosts authentic student writing

Bottom line: With some patience and understanding, this could be a good space for supporting healthy student expression.

Teen Ink

Get kids writing, publishing, critiquing in this valuable network

Bottom line: Teens will find a wealth of information and many opportunities to further interest in writing and the creative arts.

Write the World

Global community helps young writers write, revise, think, and grow

Bottom line: With interest-based writing prompts and thoughtful feedback from peers and pros, this is a great tool for writing for authentic audiences.

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