Recently, I became aware of a cool site focused on cultivating creativity and writing in young people. The site is called Scribblitt and was founded by Andrea Bergstein. Andrea has a significant marketing background with Mattel Toys and developing brands such as Babar as marketing head for an animation studio. Recently,I spoke with Andrea to learn more about Scrbblitt and give you a new idea to share with young people and teachers who want to see a new generation of authors developed.
In a few words explain what your Scribblitt does.
Scribblitt is a community for young writers designed to spark kids’ creativity with tools to help them write, illustrate and publish their own professional hardcover books. The site also acts as an Ed-Tech solution assisting Teachers with tools to help their students write and publish their own books. For every book published, we donate a book to a child in need through The Molina Foundation, a national non-profit focused on reducing disparities in health and education.
Scribblitt provides writing tools like Story Starters and a Planning Tool as well as a unique, pick and click illustration tool for professional images and the ability to scan and upload art or photos. The site is designed especially for kids appealing to their sense of style and also their need for social interaction. Registration is free so everyone has the opportunity to try Scribblitt, read Celebrity Author interviews, be a Featured Scribbler, participate in writing contests, share stories in our library, join in conversations on the blog, play word games and more.
“The site is designed especially for kids appealing to their sense of style and also their need for social interaction.”
What inspired you to create the site?
My oldest daughter wrote story after story and always asked me to help her get her stories published. We found writing contests to enter, but that really wasn’t what she had in mind. My younger daughter loved to draw and I had mounds of paper all over the place from stories started and drawings created, none of which I was allowed to throw out in case inspiration struck at any time to complete them. I loved that my kids were using their imaginations, expressing themselves and creating, in addition to honing their writing skills.
I could also see that teachers did not have the tools needed to help motivate and reward their students to write. Each teacher seemed to have a year end writing project to showcase the students’ work but used a plain white book to cut and paste the stories into, or simply stapled the pages with a construction paper cover.
I thought, “there has got to be a better way to do this”. With my background in Marketing kid’s brands, I decided, if it didn’t exist, I was going to build it.
What has been most surprising to you since you launched the site.
The biggest surprise has been the overwhelmingly positive feedback I have received from parents, teachers, and authors, not to mention the kids. There are many kids who have written in just to say thank you for giving them the tools to help them publish a book. There is such passion out there to help kids write. It is a wonderful feeling to have developed this community where young writers can flourish.
Why do you think a site like this is needed in the fast changing publishing landscape?
Everyone has a story to tell. With the availability of desktop publishing and the introduction of print-on-demand publishing, there is no reason why kids can’t be published authors too. Scribblitt allows kids to write directly into our template and save on the cloud for access anywhere.
Plus, Teachers need tools like Scribblitt to help them meet curriculum demands in a world of ever-changing, technology-based learning while engaging students who are so tech savvy at such a young age.
“Teachers need tools like Scribblitt to help them meet curriculum demands in a world of ever-changing, technology-based learning while engaging students who are so tech savvy at such a young age”.
What questions are you asked most often by users of the site.
The most frequently asked question by our Scribblers is “When will your comic book template be ready?”.
We are working on a comic book template which will provide an alternative to our book format, allowing for another creative way to keep kids engaged in writing.
What tips would you give to first time authors?
Write about something you know well so that you can bring your story to life for the reader. Describe the detail including sights, smells, texture and use comparisons to help the reader picture your words like watching a movie.
Anything else you think would be helpful for readers to know.
Scribblitt offers an Educator’s Discount for Teachers who want to do a class publishing project to help students publish their stories. Teachers should register at http://www.scribblitt.com/teacherprojects.