7 Creative Writing Exercises for Young Writers

Encouraging your child’s creative writing skills is one of the fun ways you can help improve their overall academic abilities. The art of crafting their own stories, using descriptive language and understanding the structure of a story, as well as spelling and grammar, all come into play when we write.

make-children-book writing
Encourage your children’s creative writing to flourish with fun activities at home.

Studies even show, according to readwritethink.org, that children who learn the art of creative writing, acquire the skills to organize their thoughts, and communicate better. So, by making creative writing a fun activity, you can help kids to be better at reading, and to understand and connect with other people’s writing with greater ease.

According to imaginationsoup.com, there are many activities and ideas you can try to get kids writing. The trick is to find the ones that inspire your children the most and keep the focus on fun. You may be surprised at how their imagination, and vocabulary, come together to create some impressive examples of really great writing.

7 Top Ways to Get Kids Writing:

  • Create activities and games: For example, pick two objects to write about, making certain that don’t have any obvious connections with each other: like ladybug and pencil, strawberry and hat, or truck and swing, for example. Ask them to write a description of each object, giving as much detail as possible. You can choose to set a time limit, which makes the exercise more of a game, but make it reasonable, so they have time to form proper sentence structure. Finally, ask them to look at the two paragraphs they’ve just written, and to write a final paragraph explaining how the two objects are connected. Encourage them to create a connection by making up a short story. Share the creative connections out loud with each other.
  • Write poetry: Start by reading some poems to your writers than ask them to write a few lines of their own poem. It does not have to make sense, but focus on the rhythm that the words create with their sounds.
  • Piece together writing: Create a grab bag of words written on pieces of paper. Draw out three words and ask the kids to write a poem or short story using those three words.
  • Write different poetic forms: Expand their poetry knowledge, from limericks to tetractys, with step-by-step online workshops. This teaches them everything they need to know about structure and rhythm.
  • Finish sentences that leave you hanging: One way to get the creative writing juices flowing is to start kids off with an unfinished sentence and let them decide how to finish it. Make it fun and silly. There are activities online where you can download examples and writing exercises such as these, just in case you need something to spark your own imagination!
  • Thought bubble writing: So if your kids were a cat, what would their thought bubble say? If they were an angry monkey, would that thought bubble be filled with a different tone and expressive language? Create “fill in the thought bubble” worksheets with everything from your dog to the living room sofa. Have your kids write what that object is thinking and express in detail what they may want, what their day has been like, or what their favorite thing is.
  • Write short stories to read at bedtime: Once you have your kids are writing stories, have them write a few bedtime tales that you can read together when you tuck them in at night. Create a collection of stories and publish them so your children have the pride of being an author and let them illustrate their stories too!

make-children-book writing
Publish your child’s stories into a real book and make them a bedtime treat.

According to an article on greatschools.org, you need to make it fun. Make writing projects creative, and exciting, and something you can do together. Publishing your child’s writing is another project they can work on with you that supports their creativity and pride in their writing. You can raise the level of fun in writing by publishing your child’s story into a real, professional-looking book. Your child can even help design the book and decide what the finished product will look like.

Look for online sites like Bookemon.com, one of the first to cater to teachers and parents by allowing you to create and publish your own books. It is simple and easy to use, so even your children can do it with impressive, professional results. The free software allows for endless possibilities to publish any type of book.

Simply create a free account and then choose a template to lay out the book. Next, upload any written content from PDF or Word Files onto the pages and customize the pages with a special font or clip art from the menu of options.

Finally, you can upload and edit photos (or even drawings) onto the pages of the book. Once your child has completed their book, you can share it through email, or you can choose to order copies of it to be printed.

Getting started is fun, free, and easy. It will encourage your child to explore the creative writing process, give them the pride of being a published author, and expand their love of books.

5 Tips for Getting Kids to Write a Book at Home

Filling your home with shelves of books is the best thing anyone can do for their child’s education and future. But, studies show that encouraging kids to write when they are not in school also accelerates their reading abilities and academic success.

According to readwritethink.org, children learn to organize their thoughts, write and communicate better once they start writing their own stories. So, by making writing a fun activity at home, you can help kids to be better at reading, and to understand and connect with other people’s writing with greater ease.

help kids write at home
Writing for fun improves reading and communication skills and lets creativity bloom.

The foundation is set when your child is reading at home, and you are reading to your child, (and setting a good example- by reading yourself), but writing projects can greatly support a student’s ability to write and communicate well, which impacts their academic success and their future.

How do You Encourage Your Child to Write at Home?

Once kids walk in that door after school, the last thing on their mind is doing more activities that they consider school work. So getting them to write more at home may seem like a big challenge. But, the answer is simple. According to an article on greatschools.org, you need to make it fun. Make writing projects creative, and exciting, and something you can do together. Here are a few tips:

  • Give them writing space: Kids love anything that is set up to make things more comfortable or adult-like. One idea is to create an “office” for them that is their personal writing space- complete with special paper, sharp pencils, and pens. Add a desk lamp so it is a well-lit workspace. Make it a special, but quiet space in the house, so they can focus on their writing.
  • Start with small projects: Have your child write their own thank you notes or party invitations. Let them see real-life examples where writing skills are required.
  • Encourage journaling: If you journal, share a page out of yours, like where you retell about a great day the family had together, for example. Encourage them to write about their weekend or a family vacation and point out that they can pick up the journal and easily relive special moments (and remember everything important that happened) if they write about it to preserve it.
  • Be a part of the writing project: Write your own journal and let them see you doing it. Make it a family writing time. Then, if your child allows you to read your child’s story and ask questions., get them to expand their details and tell you more.
  • Make the writing project fun: You can raise the level of fun in writing by publishing your child’s story into a real, professional-looking book. Your child can even help design the book and decide what the finished product will look like. Nothing is more fun for kids than really getting into the creative aspect of writing by making books!

make your own book for kids
Publishing your child’s writing gives it purpose and it is a fun project to do together.

How Do I Publish My Child’s Book?

With digital publishing sites online, you can take this home writing idea to a whole new level of fun. You can even publish books together. Look for online sites like Bookemon.com, one of the first to cater to teachers and parents by allowing you to create and publish your own books.

It is simple and easy to use, so even your children can do it with impressive, professional results. The free software allows for endless possibilities to publish virtually any type of book. Your child can publish works of fiction, non-fiction, a memoir or even a comic book, and kids gain knowledge about the process of writing and publishing. The possibilities and variety of books are limited only by your imagination.

Start Publishing Together

You may get started with digital bookmaking at Bookemon.com, by logging on and creating a free account. Yes, it really is free to create your entire book online and see exactly what the finished product will look like before you decide if you want to purchase copies. The best part is that there is no obligation for you to buy anything if you don’t wish to.

Once you have your free account set up, you or your child simply chooses a template to use to lay out the book, then upload any written content from PDF or Word Files onto the pages. You or your child can even customize the pages with a special font or clip art from the menu of options.

Finally, you can upload and edit photos (or even drawings) onto the pages of the book. Once your child has completed their book, you can share it through email, or you can choose to order copies of it to be printed.

Preserving their writing is exciting for them and a special project for you keep forever. Getting started is quick and easy and will open up a creative way to encourage more writing at home, have fun together, and a nurture their love of books.

How to Turn Students’ Writings into Priceless Memories

Writing is an essential part of a student’s academic success and an important factor in solid communication skills throughout life, both personally and professionally. One of the best ways an educator can help their students to further develop essential writing skills is through activities that teach them how to craft their words carefully to tell a story.

Turn Students writings into Published Work
Students who excel at writing can harness tomorrow’s success.

Studies show that kids who learn how to write their own stories well, also develop methods to better organize their thoughts, and even communicate better. Writing skills lead to better reading and comprehension skills, and all of this adds up to greater success for the students involved.

As an educator, you are probably always looking for new, innovative ways to develop and expand your students’ writing skills. You know that the best way to garner their attention is to make it fun and exciting, like a class project where students can write and publish their own books. Memories would be preserved and creativity would flourish, but maybe the project seems daunting. How do you begin?

An Easy Way to Write, Publish, and Preserve Memories

Getting started is easy with online sites like Bookemon, one of the first to cater to teachers with a special edCenter, which allows students to write, create, and publish their own book with impressive, professional results.

The entire process of organizing, writing and making a book is typically a huge source of pride for students; and even better, their stories, illustrations and photos are preserved to be cherished for years to come.

What are the edCenter Basics?

Bookemon created edCenter specifically for educators to set up a secure, private and friendly environment for their students to create, publish and even purchase their own books. You can easily create an edCenter specifically for your individual class, to serve as a special group project, or for a specific grade level of students at your school (all for free).

How Does Bookemon Do It?

Students write and save their story into a Word Document or PDF file. The document can be uploaded into Bookemon’s easy to use bookmaking templates in your edCenter. Students choose the template they desire, decide where photos or illustrations go, and can even add special fonts and clip art.

As you oversee the writing and publishing project, EdCenter gives you, the educator, and full access to guide your students’ book projects. But, be forewarned that the students will easily be able to manage the bookmaking process without a lot of assistance from you because of the advanced digital software that is so simple to use. Students can take full pride in the outcome; a professional looking book that they wrote and created themselves.

Students writings
Nothing inspires learning like a writing project where you make your own book.

How to Get Started

To Join Educator Program, go to Bookemon’s Educator’s Program Page at www.bookemon.com/educator-home, click “Join Educator Program”. There your will identify your position at your school in the following categories: teacher, administrator, staff member, or support group, Select your K-12 school, non-profit organization or college from our Educator’s Program database and then you are allowed to create your edCenter, while completing your membership registration, or you may wait until after you have joined the Educator Program at Bookemon.

Parent Access
Once your students have created their books with Bookemon’s digital software, you can also choose to get the books into your own edCenter bookstore, where parents can be granted access in order to purchase copies. This is a central place where all of the edCenter published books including public or edCenter member only books are listed.

To share your edCenter bookstore with parents, you simply find “edCenter Bookstore” on the navigation bar after you enter the edCenter. Click “invite parents to store” where you can fill in the email addresses of where you want to send a special secret passcode. Essentially, access to your class’s edCenter is controlled by your exclusive passcode assigned by you, the educator, but you can send it to parents in this special invite email. Only those with the passcode can view and purchase the edCenter member only books.

Safeguards for Student Accounts

Student accounts are designed to help educators enroll their students into the edCenter without use of email invitations. Additional safeguards are in place for these accounts, like activities online are confined within the edCenter, in a secluded online environment. All student accounts are linked to the educator that creates the edCenter. So, any communication from Bookemon to the student members would be sent to the email address of the founder.

Some basic benefits of edCenter:

  • Group Privacy: At your discretion, books and information can only be accessed by members.
  • Student Accounts: Teacher can add student accounts for their students gaining added privacy and ease of oversight on students’ works.
  • Free for educators: There is no cost to create your own edCenter. There is no obligation to purchase.
  • Educator Discount: All members of your edCenter will receive a 10% discount off of purchased books.
  • Mobile Access: Using bookPress or Bookemon Mobile apps, you can access your edCenter via iPhone, iPad or Android devices.
  • Membership Control: Management tools for founder/administrators to control who can join your group.
  • Collaboration: Members within the group can create book collaboratively

Learn and Preserve Student Writing

There are a few publishing options out there, but students do best with a format that is easy to use, allows customization of their books, and lets them choose all the small details right down to the font. Students can publish works of fiction, non-fiction, a memoir or even a comic book. Even class photos can be preserved into a keepsake book for purchasing.

The free software provides endless possibilities to publish virtually any type of book. This project can open up a world of learning possibilities for your students and preserve their stories into a beautiful keepsake, so try it out today.

Writing Tips for People Who Don’t Think They Can Write

Writing tips

With several books to her credit, including one that has been made into a movie on Disney Channel, Jackie French Koller is a successful author as well as an accomplished painter.

She recently shared her top writing tips for people who don’t think they can write. This popular writer has some empowering words of wisdom for all aspiring authors. Read on:

Can you tell us a bit about your journey to becoming a professional writer?

The road to publication was a long one for me. Although I grew up loving books, it never occurred to me that an ordinary person like me could actually “write” a book. I graduated from college with a liberal arts degree and went to work in insurance, because I lived in Connecticut at the time, and Connecticut was the insurance capital of the world. I was actually an under-“writer”, but underwriting had very little to do with creative writing.

When did you first discover that you wanted to write?

It was not until I got married and had my first child, and began reading to her that my love of children’s books came flooding back and I started getting ideas for stories of my own. I began by writing stories just for her, but the more I wrote, the more I began to dream of becoming a “real” writer.

Soon I was sharing my stories with others, and I came to learn of a Writer’s Conference at UMass, just over the border from where I then lived, in Simsbury, Conn. I attended the conference and set my dream in motion. It would be 10 years before my first book saw publication, with lots of rejection and disappointment in between, but I was determined, and now, over 30 books later, I can say it was a journey well worth taking.

What is the primary tip you would give to people who don’t think that they can write?

When I was a little girl, my father told me I could be anything I wanted to be, and I believed him, so when I decided that I wanted to be a writer, I never really doubted that it would happen. It took a LOT of work, and a LOT of learning, but I knew that the only person who could stop me from succeeding was myself – by giving up – and I wasn’t about to do that.

Everyone has something interesting to write about because we all share in the human experience and we are all interested in how others cope with the cards they are dealt. Look to your own life, and the moments that stand out. Think about the funny experiences, the sad experiences, the scary experiences, the touching experiences, the over-the-top silly experiences. All of these are rich fodder for stories.

What is the first step one should take in order to improve their writing?

The No. 1 step is to write! You can’t become a piano player without playing the piano. You can’t become a football star without playing football, and you can’t become a writer without writing – a lot – just as much as music students and aspiring sports players need to practice to get to the top. The No. 2 step is to join a critique group, or at least share your stories with others who will give you their “honest” feedback, because your own writing comes from your heart and it is very hard to see the flaws in your own work. I was lucky to be a children’s book writer, because it was easy for me to get unbiased feedback. I remember reading one of my early stories to group of children and watching them start to fidget and lose interest about a third of the way through. Big wake-up call! Back to the drawing board.

Do you think there is one creative process that can work for all?

Absolutely not. There are some irrefutable truths. You have to write and write and get honest feedback (don’t ask people who just want to make you happy), but beyond that, you have to find the process that works for you. Some writers swear by outlining. I HATE outlining. My process is to start to get to know my characters by thinking and thinking about them and their story until they come to life for me and I can hear their voices in my head. It took a long time to get to that point, but interestingly enough, after all the years of writing and learning, the very first time I could actually hear a character’s voice in my head resulted in my very first published book. (Impy for Always – Little Brown & Co.).

How easy or hard is it to become a published author?

The exciting thing about being an aspiring author today, as opposed to back in the 80s when I was starting out, is that there are so many more publishing opportunities. You can self-publish an e-book so easily, and you can publish real, nice quality hardcover or paperback books as well, at reasonable prices. These options are nice for published authors as well because most books inevitably go out of print, but now we have options.

We can make our out-of-print books available again to fans who loved a book, and want to share it with their children or grandchildren, but can’t get it anymore. It also gives us a chance to publish books that we know are good, but that just didn’t find the right editor at the right time. So much about publishing is subjective, and so many factors play into the success of a book, that many good books fall between the cracks. Thanks to today’s technology, they can find new life.

How do people achieve next-level readiness to learn and move up as a writer?

Write, write, write, get honest criticism, and re-write, re-write, re-write. Also, read, read, read. There is no better teacher than a well-written book. Pay attention to the passages that make you pause and say, “Wow, that is so beautifully written. Those words really grab me by the heart and soul. They draw me right into the moment – make me laugh, make me cry, make me ‘see,’ make me feel.”

What things should a writer never do?

Never underestimate your reader. Never write “down” to a child. Never compromise your values to make a sale. And never overwrite. Simplicity is the key to good writing. Never try to show off your vocabulary. Never use two words when one will do. One of the most simply and beautifully written books I’ve ever read is Sarah, Plain and Tall, by Patricia MacLachlan. The writing is so pared down and bare bones beautiful that every word sings. Read it and be inspired. I tried to emulate that simplicity in my own writing, and I think the book that comes closest is The Promise.

What is the key ingredient to writing well?

Look at writing like you would look at any other career. Don’t think you are going to dash off your first book and hit the best seller list. Put the same time and effort into learning your craft that you would put into any other career.

Anything else you’d like to tell our readers?

Not everyone wants or needs to be a professional writer. Some people want to write their memoirs to share with their families. Some people want to write down a beloved story that has been told orally to their children and grandchildren, perhaps passed down from their own parents or grandparents. Illustrated by a child or grandchild, these can be some of the most beautiful stories of all. Or perhaps your child has written a story of his or her own that you want to publish and save forever. The amazing thing is that anyone can do these things now thanks to sites like Bookemon. Aren’t we all lucky to have so many wonderful new creative opportunities at our fingertips? So what are you waiting for? Start writing!

Follow Jackie on her website and the Black Dog Gallery.

Start creating your book today.

What Can I do with Bookemon?

In today’s frantic pace of life, one is the defining number. This ranges from one-dish-meals to a carryall bag that holds all of life’s essentials. This is also the unique proposition offered by Bookemon – a one-stop destination that fulfills so many needs and requirements. Read on to discover the vast range of what is possible.

Ongoing Journal, Yearbook or Portfolio

Every year unfolds with new milestones and new adventures. Bookemon works as an online binder to which pages and photographs can be added over a period of time. Within these, you can select pages to print or publish or do the same with the entire document when it is complete.

Store and Share

Bookemon offers cloud storage facilities for documents and media such as photographs. These can then be accessed on mobile devices anywhere and anytime they are needed. Documents and media files in the Bookemon cloud can be tagged according to the date or event and different family members can upload content. Privacy settings ensure that only authorized people are able to view these files. These facilities also work well for start-ups and non-profit enterprises, to store minutes of meetings, budgets etc. Pages can be easily moved around, merged or split.

Memory Collection

Most people begin to lag behind when it comes to the overwhelming task of sorting and storing bits of family history. This process soon changes from a happy experience to one riddled with frustration. Writer, Kavita Varma-White asks a pertinent question, “Is there anything more guilt-inducing than a partially filled out baby book?”

Families produce many collectibles. There is the young child who likes to fill pages with drawing, coloring or poetry. It could be a newborn baby who makes a charming subject for a doting parent to record the entire first year in photographs. Do you have old recipes written by hand and handed down through the generations? Every year produces its own share of high and low points – picnics, reunions, births, deaths, sporting successes and marriages to name a few.

Bookemon can be an invaluable tool as a repository of family memories.
Scan pictures, drawings and handwritten documents and store them easily. Re-order and store photographs of special events and special achievements, chronologically and create a photo book. Add pages whenever needed to yearbooks and personal journals. Make your own cookbook by scanning family recipes along with a few photographs, which can become a beautiful gift for a birthday or holiday.

make a family book at bookemon
A repository of family history.

Publication and Print Hub

Use Bookemon as a centralized hub for publication and printing needs by uploading the most recent or ongoing catalog, training manual, instructional book, technical manual, business plan or annual report. This one-stop destination makes it easy for the group to access information, eliminating the need for numerous emails. With Bookemon, all documents can be print-ready through collaborative effort and be available for clients to buy. Documents can be transformed into bookstore-quality publications in just minutes with a print on demand capability.

Book Store and Design Depo

With Bookemon’s personal bookstore or edCenter bookstore, books and catalogs can be stored and sold as easily as from any bookstore. For those wanting to add creative design elements, clip art or images to their document, Bookemon has hundreds of pre-designed templates and designs to choose from. These can be added to documents uploaded in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint or even PDF documents. Cover designs can be created and internal pages designed to a high degree of customization, so that the final product is exactly how you want it.

*Use Bookemon as a bookstore.

Project Room

Bookemon makes it easy for groups to work on a joint project. Easily upload and share photos, documents, and designed pages among the group, so that everyone can work according to their availability.

With such a wealth of facilities, there is no need to delay any longer. Start creating your book today!

Enter Our Book of the Year Contest and Win Free Books!

Everyone has their best and worst memories of childhood. For many people, these memories center around their school. The usual response to being asked about the school years is, “Oh I could write a book about it!” Well here is a chance to do just that. At Bookemon it is that time of the year when the annual Book of the Year Contest gets underway and this year the topic is: A Book about My School. So dust off those old yearbooks, send out a few messages on social media and spend a few hours on journeys down memory lane to create a book about your school. You just might have a winner!

Write about your school and win!

The Topic

Are you wondering how your school qualified to be the topic for the contest this year? There are at least a couple of very good reasons.

1. Schools shape personality and mold character. The years spent in school provide a great deal more than just an accumulation of information and a certificate. Educational institutions teach invaluable life lessons such as humility in victory and courage in defeat. They instill important values such as honesty, cooperation, team achievement over personal gain and the value of discipline.

2. Schools are the launch pads for our earliest affections. Remember your first best friend, your first gold medal, favorite teacher and subject? The attachments formed in school are often strong enough to decide the future path of a career or a lifelong relationship.

Getting Started

There are a few key factors to writing a good book. Having these sorted out right at the beginning will ensure that the actual writing process is effortless.

1. Pick an angle

Is your book going to tell a story, otherwise known as a narrative angle, take an autobiographical slant or take the form of a descriptive coffee table kind of book about your school?

Forbes contributor Roger Duncan says, “No doubt about it, the best speakers are good storytellers. The best writers are good storytellers. The best leaders are good storytellers. The best teachers and trainers and coaches are good storytellers. It might even be argued that the best parents are good storytellers.”

The narrative technique is widely recognized as the most powerful way to attract a readership and it works just as well when self-publishing a book. However, the important thing is to pick the angle that best enables the writer to produce his or her masterpiece. So if factual is more your style, then surely go for it!

2. Get it Done

So all the research is done, the best angle picked, the photographs sorted and then along comes the biggest hurdle – the actual writing. This is the scenario most new writers and even many seasoned veterans face time and again. Online book publishing with a site such as ours is as easy as it gets – after the book is written! To get it written, follow simple steps such as writing just one page of 300 words every day, creating an outline of chapters and word counts, creating a permanent place in the house only for writing and getting feedback as the book takes shape.

Write a little, or a lot, everyday,

The person who wins the first prize in the contest gets 10 free books from us! The second prize winner gets five free books and third place gets three free books. This could be a great chance to expand your personal library with a selection of wonderful books. Start creating your book today!