Inspiring Aspiring Writers

tikatok.jpgToday, Jennifer reports on Tikatok’s story writing and publishing site for kids. Read on for Jennifer's review, as well as to learn how to win a $25 Tikatok gift card!

“Co-founded by two mothers and based in Lexington, MA, Tikatok is a free online community that allows kids under 13 to write, illustrate, share, and publish their original literary work. From inkling of an idea to bound copy, Tikatok inspires, guides, and preserves the creative process of aspiring writers in a spirit of kid-friendly collaboration not available in other self-publishing venues.
It can be challenging to find an activity that is appropriate and fun for all four of my kids (10-year-old son, 6-year-old twin daughters, 4-year-old son) but impressively, they all had a great time creating stories on Tikatok. The interface is straightforward and the browser-based tools put young authors in charge of every aspect of their creation and are easy for older children to use independently (my 10-year-old enjoyed the site independently while my three younger kids needed some help using the tools and typing). A step-by-step "book editor" coaches kids along as they create text and upload or mail in photos and artwork. Optional, customized "Story Sparks" prompt even reluctant authors with questions and suggestions that banish writer's block and give structure to wild imaginings.

Additionally, kids have the option of collaborating and sharing their work with other site members. A thoughtful, thorough privacy policy safeguards identity and allows parents to monitor public activity. Site-wide consideration of both parent and child is rounded out by excellent customer service; I was impressed that my e-mail request for help was answered the next day.

When finished, kids can have their books printed to hard cover or paperback for around $20. My kids were delighted to see their own work in print, and I was impressed by the quality construction and durability of the finished product.

We have tested various options for story writing, but Tikatok truly is a winner; I cannot recommend this site highly enough. These books make excellent gifts for birthdays and holidays or will serve well to share tales of summer vacations or school milestones.”

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Congrats to winner Melanie!
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Now, want to win a $25 Tikatok gift card? Here's how:

  • Visit the Tikatok website, then email (with ‘Tikatok’ in the subject), and name one of Tikatok’s Featured Books.

  • One entry permitted per person; US entrants welcome to enter.

  • Entry period closes at midnight EST, Saturday, June 13, 2009.

    *One lucky winner (drawn at random using will receive a $25 Tikatok gift card!