Harper launches a site for teens to post their own writing

>> Friday, January 29, 2010

This week, publisher HarperTeen launched a new online project called inkpop to serve as a place for teens to share their poetry and prose. It's a fun idea, and very similar to other "social fiction" sites like Scribd and the myriad fanfiction sites out there where people can read your work for free, comment on it, and rank it. But there's one big difference at inked: an editorial board at Harper will read the top five selections each month, as voted on by fans, and offer feedback and the possibility of publication.

Even if they never publish something from this online slushpile, it's a fantastic opportunity for young writers to get professional feedback on their work. And if they don't have a top five book that month? Well, it's a great opportunity to see what does and doesn't go over big in teen fiction. (Here's a hint: science fiction/fantasy and romance is the magic combination.) Right now the top pick, a novel-in-progress called Shadow Watchers, has 742 comments--most of which, by a quick scan, are raves. I read the first page or so, and it's got a great hook and a terrific teen voice.

According to the submission guidelines, you just have to be "13 and up" to submit work--which means it's not just for teen writers, but for anyone writing for teens. If you're an adult writing for teens, you'll of course want to consider whether submitting to editors and agents is better for your work than posting it to be read for free online, but if you're convinced it will go over big with teens and be a top five book, inkpop seems like a terrific place to get some attention and feedback for your work. Just be sure to read all the terms and conditions before you post--I haven't gone through the small print, but you know there has to be some...


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